Early in 2011, Asian social gaming corp GREE purchased OpenFeint for the sum of $104 million, and initially OpenFeint was quite an important step for iOS devices. However once GREE purchased it, they didn’t really do much with it, and basically let it stagnate. And now the word is GREE is closing OpenFeint.
According to a report by Touch Arcade, GREE has apparently given game developers less than a months notice that OpenFeint will close, meaning developers have until the 14th of December to move away from OpenFeint, after which the service will shut down for good.
Although OpenFeint as it existed wasn’t that great, it did work, and many developers have OpenFeint implemented in legacy iOS games that use the OpenFeint service to make components of their games work.
It seems quite crazy to give developers under a months notice, and means developers will need to work round the clock to open up all old projects that utilise OpenFeint to re-code all the API hooks to use Game Center, or a propriety solution if they can come up with one.
However a likely outcome of the quick closure of OpenFeint will probably mean there will be loads of legacy titles with broken online components. As Apple continually update their submission guidelines, even if a developer rewrites all OpenFeint code, they will still need to compile against the latest version of iOS and other work, which could be just too much work for older games.
Apparently GREE has offered a solution to migrate developers to their new platform, however considering the way they have handled the shut down of OpenFeint, apparently many developers are no longer interested in playing along with GREE.
So basically as GREE is closing OpenFeint so quickly, all those developers that use OpenFeint will have to work very hard update their apps.