OpenFeint has just announced its newest iOS venture, Game Channel. The new service promises to offer lots of great features, including a free game of the day spotlight that will help users discover great free apps they might have otherwise missed. The main draw of Game Channel though is going to be Fire Sale, a new service which is taking the Groupon model of group sales and bringing it to iOS.
According to OpenFeint, Fire Sale will present a premium app that is going on sale every week. Much like Groupon, users who are interested in buying the game at a discounted price can vote, and when enough votes are reached the price will drop. Fire Sale will then send out a push notification to everyone who voted on the app, letting them know the title is available at a discount. The first game going on sale is Jaws from Bytemark Games, and users can start voting on the title on December 17 at 12:01 am PST.
“We have a motivated community that has proven time and again that they’ll come back for great deals. This happens every day with Free Game of the Day,” says Jason Citron, CEO of OpenFeint. “Fire Sale is a truly social, community-based promotion, that is a perfect way for game developers to get their games downloaded.”
So how well will this new feature go over? That largely depends on the quality of apps offered and how deep the discounts go. For instance, Jaws is currently available for $2.99 and will drop to $0.99, is that good enough for consumers? Of course, the price can’t go much lower than that so the quality of the game will likely play a major factor in many potential buyers’ decisions.
We’ll also have to keep an eye out on which publishers opt to support the program, as that will be a big determining factor. If OpenFeint can convince major players like Chillingo/EA, Namco and Gameloft to come aboard then things should go very well, but if the big companies decide to sit this one out then the appeal of Fire Sale may be quite limited. In any case, it will be very interesting to see if this group sale model can catch on for iOS. Could it be possible that we’re witnessing a revolution in digital distribution?Posted in: Blog
Tagged with: Chillingo, ea, Fire Sale, Game Channel, gameloft, group sales, Groupon, Jaws, namco, openfeint