OpenFeint’s Shutdown Brings New Tools for iOS Developers

Posted by Gregg Weiss on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

While news of OpenFeint’s shutdown has prompted many iOS app developers to switch gaming support over to Apple’s GameCenter in app updates this week, news has arrived that iOS app developers may have other options in the near future. In a TUAW post, Mike Schramm reveals OpenFeint founder Peter Relan’s plans to provide new tools for iOS development companies.

OpenKit to Offer iOS Developers New Options

iOS Game Development

Relan has announced the new service will be called OpenKit, but as of yet is keeping the app development team working on the project a secret. You may be wondering what the difference between OpenFeint and OpenKit is, considering the similar names and shared founder. A logical conclusion would be that the OpenKit toolbox will be similar to an OpenFeint II, and likely destined for the same fate. However, Relan says the newer gaming toolkit will be open-source and full-featured enough to rival Apple’s GameCenter. He believers developers are looking for more options in the gaming platform, and the Game Center fails to provide enough features to meet the needs of today’s iOS game developers adequately, prompting them to turn to third-party solutions like OpenKit.

OpenKit Versus GameCenter in iOS Gaming Apps

iOS Gaming Apps often use the GameCenter API to store scores and game data to enhance the gaming experience for consumers. Relan’s OpenFeint was a lesser-used option used in some iOS game apps. Relan’s OpenKit selection wil be hard-pressed to compete with GameCenter since most iOS consumers already have at least one game using GameCenter and can keep their favorite games on the same GameCenter profile.

GameCenter Offers Developers Full Features

GameCenter allows iOS gamers to search for other friends using the same game apps, as well as connect with new gamers playing the same games. Consumers can compete on real-time leader boards, and track their personal best scores. GameCenter comes preinstalled on the iPhone and iPad devices.

OpenKit Survey Offered

So what else is there to offer in gaming solutions? While Relan says there is a demand for third-party options, he’s a bit unclear on revealing what his platform will have to offer iOS app developers that GameCenter doesn’t already offer. In fact, he is hosting a survey to search out what app developers are looking for in a new gaming platform.

OpenKit is expected to be ready for launch by the end of January 2013.  That’s a pretty ambitious launch date considering Relan has been a bit fuzzy on the details up to this point. If OpenKit does come through with an impressive list of features for gaming app developers, we hope Peter Relan has a better go-round with the follow up to OpenFeint.

If you’re an iOS gaming app developer, what features would you like to see OpenKit include that GameCenter does not already offer? You can pop over to the OpenKit website to complete Relan’s survey to voice your opinion and help contribute to his project.


Image courtesy of africa /

Tags: openfeint


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