The revelation of Apple’s Game Center–already billed by many as Xbox Live for iPhone–has been met with both praise and shock within the industry.
While many developers and, indeed, consumers will welcome the formation of a universal online gaming network for the format, questions are also being raised as to just what effect its implementation will have on currently existing third-party efforts.
iPhone already boasts leagues of similar online networks, including Aurora Feint’s OpenFeint, ngmoco’s Plus+, Scoreloop and Chillingo’s Crystal, but none have managed to gain the crucial upper hand in this increasingly competitive tussle.
Some have predicted the launch of Apple’s Game Center will, essentially, kill off all the above in quick time, but ngmoco president Simon Jeffery has come out fighting just hours after the new platform was revealed.
Speaking to PocketGamer, Jeffery said Apple is heading down a path Plus+ has already made its own, surprisingly describing the announcement as ‘exciting’.
“Game Center is an exciting first party innovation for the ecosystem that reinforces much of what Plus+ has already accomplished and proven out early in its life cycle,’ Jeffery told the site.
‘It will effectively clean up the social space on the iPhone, which has become confusing and cluttered to consumers due to the number of social gaming networks vying for attention. Ngmoco has anticipated this move from Apple for some time, and is happy to see a cleaner developer and consumer experience on the horizon.”
According to Jeffery, the reason Plus+ will survive Apple’s onslaught is because it has diversified away from the market Apple Game Center is aimed at of late.
“As we demonstrated at the recent GDC, Plus+ took a strategic shift in direction a few months ago toward being a service, and less about being a set of social gaming features.
‘Plus+ is all about empowering monetization and discoverability mechanisms for the development community, and we have clearly demonstrated with games like We Rule that these mechanisms work.’
Whether Jeffery really believes Plus+ will come out the other side smelling of roses remains to be seen. It’s certainly going to be very interesting to see how the other major players react over the coming days and weeks.