Friday, November 16, 2012

OpenFeint servers shutting down Dec. 14, 2012

Today GREE announced OpenFeint servers will be shutting down on December 14, 2012.  This very truncated transition period gives developers less than 1 month to replace or remove OpenFeint functionality to their existing games.  While this would be short notice in the best of times, giving 1 months notice during the December time period is, the hands down, worst possible time they could make this move.  Right now most mobile developers are hurriedly working to get new games and updates finished and submitted in time for the big holiday rush and before the App Store locks down for the winter holidays.

If you're wondering what OpenFeint is, in short it's a predecessor to Game Center.  Most notably developers used it for leaderboards, achievements and adding other social aspects to their games before Game Center came along.  While OpenFeint adoption has dropped since Game Center was introduced, many older (but potentially popular) apps still use OpenFeint because their developers haven't felt the need to switch it over to Game Center.  Developers must now make the choice to drop their new projects to update their older games, or face the specter of allowing their older games to use a service that no longer exists.  To really twist the knife in the whole experience, GREE informed developers that failure to remove the OpenFeint SDK from your games by December 14, 2012, "violates the terms of the OpenFeint Developer Agreement".  GREE is pushing developers to migrate to their OpenFeint games to the GREE Platform however I'm very suspect on how many developers will choose to migrate to that service given this experience.

While I removed OpenFeint from my iOS games awhile ago, I'm still using it for the current version of Ninja Hamster Rescue on Android.  This raises a new question, are they any other services out there that provide leaderboard/achievement type functionality for Android, or was OpenFeint the only one?

No comments:

Post a Comment