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November 20, 2012

OpenFeint Takes One to the Heart, Plans Closure for Mid-December

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

The gaming market is one of constant change, engendering services and games alike and opening and closing regularly. December 14, however, will see another such change hit the market as social gaming hub OpenFeint ducks out of the market, handing over its leaderboards to Apple (News - Alert), with hopes that game developers will move to its primary hub.

OpenFeint, which offered social hubs and achievements system, as well as leaderboards for popular games like Fruit Ninja and Robot Unicorn Attack, moved to GREE back in April of 2011, and remained there for some time until the announced closure.

Just what was behind the announced closure is unclear, but given that OpenFeint is moving so hard to get developers and gamers alike to migrate to GREE – the basic GREE platform integration is expected to take less than a week for many developers – it would seem they're trying to get some life back in their core platform.

Additionally, OpenFeint warns users that failing to make the migration will result in a wide array of potential problems, ranging from “service disruptions to your game” and “a poor player experience,” to “all data stored on OpenFeint servers, including all unsecured player data” being lost outright, based on the FAQ section of the OpenFeint service shutdown.

The consensus among a fairly large swath of the gaming community, meanwhile, seems to be one of relief, as some sectors found OpenFeint's requests to join the service and file their top scores to be a bit intrusive. But the idea was reasonably sound if the execution left something to be desired. A central hub for gamers to get together and compare scores is certainly worthwhile enough, and hopefully GREE can improve on some of the mistakes that the original made.

That's the great thing about the video game sector; as old systems don't work, new systems can rise to take their place and implement the kinds of changes that users want to see. If people didn't much care for OpenFeint's interpretation, there will be a fresh one to come that will hopefully capitalize on the mistakes of its predecessor.

There's plenty of room for success in the industry, and those who take customer service seriously and provide what the users want will ultimately have the best chance at success.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker
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