Today, Aurora Feint launched the version 1.0 release of their OpenFeint Mobile Social Gaming Platform. The platform, which has been in closed beta for a few weeks, includes leader boards and chat room functionality for applications that include it. Starting today, we should start to see updates from some of the publishers included in the 1.0 beta. The list of apps enrolled in the initial beta is impressive and includes games such as VectorTanks, PocketGod, 2079, Radio Flare and Lumen. The games were chosen across a wide range to show the versatility of the platform.

One of the key features with OpenFeint is the open authorization scheme. Users have the choice of authenticating into their OpenFeint account using either their Facebook, Twitter credentials, or neither. Future versions will include support for MySpaceID, OpenID, and anything else that they can get to work and makes sense.

The features of the 1.0 release, in use by the developers in the beta include:

– Player Accounts enabled with FbConnect and Twitter Integration — users have the option of authenticating with these accounts or creating a new account.

– Developer Configured Leaderboards — leader boards are very flexible, allowing the developers to tailor the leader boards to fit their games. Developers can sort the leader board as they choose and also create as many different ones as needed.

– Game Specific Chat Rooms — chat rooms are also developer configurable and allow up to 50 users per chat room.

– Global Chat Rooms with Cross Promotion of Game Titles — the global chat rooms are dynamically created as they start to fill up. There’s a maximum of 50 users per chat room.

– Sample code and API are open source (GPL licensed) — this allows the developer to modify both the display and the processing as needed and provides transparency. Some possible pitfalls could occur here, if the developer changes too much and things change though.

Additions for the 2.0 release, which is available for signup today, includes the integration of profiles and news feeds from Facebook and Twitter. Developers can apply for inclusion in the 2.0 version at http://www.openfeint.com.

Speaking with Danielle Cassley and Jason Citron, the developers of Aurora Feint, they are obviously excited about the possibilities that the notification service and other features in iPhone OS 3.0 can add to their platform. The ability to be notified instantly when your friends start a game, beat your high score, etc. are all very compelling.

Read the full press release after the jump.

Aurora FeintT  Launches OpenFeint(TM) Mobile Social Gaming Platform V1.0
with Leader boards and Chat Rooms; Twitter and FBConnect Integration
included, MySpaceId to follow

Dozens of Games Launch with OpenFeint 1.0, All Major Game Categories
Including Card, Strategy, Simulation, Action, Role Playing Embed OpenFeint
in Popular Games;

Burlingame, CA March 19, 2008 –   Aurora Feint Inc., the company that
launched the highly acclaimed community based RPG puzzle social game for the
iPhone, and announced OpenFeint social gaming platform private beta last
month,  launched OpenFeint V1.0 at the iPhone Gaming Summit in San Francisco
with an impressive list of launch partners and game categories including
Chillingo publisher of over 100 games including the current top paid game in
the AppStore, Bolt Creative publisher of the hit game Pocket God, and
MobilityWare.

In a first for iPhone games, iPhone game developers using OpenFeint now have
the choice of enabling users to log into OpenFeint using their Facebook and
Twitter accounts to bring their social identity into their mobile games,
once across multiple games, integrated with in-game leaderboards, game
events, cross promotion and in-game chat with Zero Server Operations.

Developers can integrate directly with fbConnect and Twitter API’s, but to
get the leaderboards, chat lobbies and other critical social game features
that are server based they would have to develop and set up their own server
farms: an activity that could easily take months of work. These are the key
differentiators that have brought game development leaders in virtually
every game category to launch with OpenFeint V1.0:

Action: Vector Tanks by Chillingo
Adventure: Pocket God by Bolt Creative
Arcade: 2079 by Eric Tong
Board: iGo by Phil Zigoris
Card: Fetch by Phil Zigoris
Casino: Caribbean Stud Poker by MobilityWare
Dice: Boom Dice by Mach Kobayashi
Educational: Entangled by Arend Hintze
Family: Jack or 100 ways to Barbecue by Chillingo
Music: Radio Flares by Studio Radiolaris
Puzzle: Lumen by Bridger Maxwell
Role Playing: VOID by Alex Wayne
Simulation: Virtual Stock Market by Rahul Saraf
Sports: Master Kick by Chillingo
Strategy: Symbolism by Andrew Borland
Trivia: FindIT by Granet

In addition to the above featured games the following are also submitting to
the AppStore using OpenFeint V1.0: Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Hi-Lo, Ride It
Out Poker, Triple Card Poker, Crazy 4 Card Poker, Colorblind, iCanSketchIt,
Krypton Egg, Marble Maze Ultra, The Quest, BeeCells, Cloud Girls, and Bug
Bounce. In all, over 30 games are being launched with OpenFeint V1.0
embedded inside, in order to take advantage of the powerful social
integration and social gaming features. Titles that have already been
submitted should appear in the AppStore within days.

“We are proud to be a strategic OpenFeint Partner and as a publisher of
over 100 games, we are looking for all our future games and updates to take
advantage of OpenFeint,” said Chris Byatte, Director of Chillingo Ltd.

Product Features and Pricing
Version 1.0 of OpenFeint includes highly requested features that private
beta developers asked for including:

– Player Accounts enabled with FbConnect and Twitter Integration
– Developer Configured Leaderboards
– Game Specific Chat Rooms
– Global Chat Rooms with Cross Promotion of Game Titles

Pricing is free for free games, and for paid games it is based on tiers of
monthly active users (MAU’s), varying from free to a few cents/month/MAU. At
the cost of pennies, developers can eliminate all development costs and
recurring server operations costs using the economies of scale OpenFeint
brings to the equation.

“We were thrilled to have all these indie game developers working with us to
build a world class social utility for games during our private beta,” said
Jason Citron and Danielle Cassley, the 24-year-old entrepreneurs who
developed Aurora Feint in 10 weeks flat and launched on July 11 on the
AppStore. “We are now happy to offer OpenFeint to all developers of iPhone
games and applications, through our OpenFeint 2.0 Public Beta Program which
starts today”.
Open Source Submission and Approval of Applications

OpenFeint V1.0 has been developed to be consistent with the guidelines
developers have to follow to have their applications approved. Specifically
OpenFeint is not an external API or framework on the client. It is a
combination of sample and open source code, so developers work with
OpenFeint source code and can customize the look and feel if necessary.

“Aurora Feint will continue to develop great games for the iPhone, but we
have now added a new element to our business which should accelerate the
development of social games on the iPhone, something Jason and Danielle as
indie developers have always been passionate about,” said Peter Relan,
Chairman of Aurora Feint Inc. and serial Internet entrepreneur.

OpenFeint V2.0 Public Beta which will include integration of profiles and
newsfeeds with FaceBook and Twitter tweets begins today and developers are
invited to apply at www.openfeint.com.

Note: Aurora FeintT is a trademark of Aurora Feint Inc., FacebookT is a
trademark of Facebook, TwitterT is a trademark of Twitter Inc. Press
Contact: Peter Brooks (415) 255-1554

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