We were able to contact OpenFeint and independently confirm the fact that they are indeed working on a standalone App and website, and that an official announcement is on the way. Read on to see what to expect.
“Players are always asking us for an easy way to access and manage OF, the stand-alone app was the obvious choice,” said Eros Resmini, VP of Marketing and Developer Relations at OpenFeint, in an email to Slide to Play. “We also want to spread the new version 2.4 of OF that includes great new social features like online presence and IM-style chat. This will give players direct access to these new features and an additional avenue for discovering content in the OF network.”
“The website we just launched at OpenFeint.com was our first step at giving players desktop view of the community,” he said. “We expect to grow that site and give players new ways to interact with [OpenFeint's] 7M+ players and 650+ games.”
OF is also placing a big emphasis on helping players discover new, quality games. To that effect, the new service will include a new free and paid game every day. The app finding service will work automatically when you sign in, and you’ll be able to see which of your friends have favorited the game, and read their review.
“We realize that finding good games to play is difficult, and unlike other app recommendation services that require you to type in apps or run 3rd party programs on your desktop,” said Jason Citron of OpenFeint, “the OpenFeint discovery features work automatically.”
The OpenFeint App is now available on the App Store. This app is a handy way to access your OpenFeint account, linking you to friends and seeing what they’re playing. However, the best feature is the link to the free game of the day, which will almost certainly be tied to the Free App of the Day we covered earlier.
In a move to further assert their dominance over the iPhone social network scene, OpenFeint has revealed that they are planning to release a standalone App that will allow users to access all of the functionality of their service, but without having to open a game that uses it.
In a Twitter conversation with GameZebo, OpenFeint was asked if there was any possibility of a future App or website that would let players access their OpenFeint account without having to log into a network-enabled game.
“Independent app short term, website longer term,” OpenFeint stated, “but in both cases we’ll definitely have it!”
This move could be one of the defining characteristics that helps OpenFeint distinguish itself from all the myriad of other iPhone gaming networks. A press release confirming this information is said to be in the works, and ready for release soon. We have contacted OpenFeint for an official confirmation and will update this story when we hear from them.