Gree shutting down OpenFeint on December 14

The situation has some mobile developers quite frustrated

Japanese mobile/social powerhouse Gree has revealed its intention to shut down OpenFeint, a social networking service for mobile that it purchased back in April 2011 for $104 million. OpenFeint has served as an Xbox Live of sorts for mobile, offering achievements, friends lists, etc. Gree would like to migrate the OpenFeint users over to its own network, but the short notice of closure on December 14 has not gone over so well with some in the development community.

“Our game GoNinja has had over 1.5 million downloads on Android and iOS,” developer George Deglin told GamesBeat. “Even if we push an update in time, thousands of our users won't know to download it and will get a failed game. It's very frustrating.”

"If we do nothing, new users and users who have previously opted into OpenFeint in GoNinja will most likely not be able to launch our game after the OpenFeint shutdown - it will freeze on the loading screen,” said Deglin. “Since our game has been out for a while now and has so many people who have downloaded it, it's possible that many of them will leave a bad review upon the game failing.”

The short notice, and the timing leading up to the holidays when many new smartphones are activated, means that Gree may be burning some bridges with developers.

“Ideally, [Gree] should have provided much longer notice,” Deglin continued. “It can't take that much effort to keep a server running, and the cost would be worth preventing the loss of developer trust. If they gave us more time, then I think we definitely would consider moving to the Gree platform - especially if it starts looking more promising. I'm sure other developers feel the same way. As it stands now, we don't want anything to do with Gree anymore.”

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Latest comments (5)

Tom Keresztes Programmer 6 years ago
We phased out OpenFeint when the Android features were severly lagged behind the iOS version, and promised features (multiplayer/matchmaking) did not materialize. On the iOS it did just compete with GameCenter, and the features on android were barely more than leaderboard.
GameSpy is a worthy alternative for cross platform online services.
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Nuttachai Tipprasert Programmer 6 years ago
I don't understand why they can't just integrate their backend and stop supporting the service and then fade out OpenFeint 2-3 years later? Shutting down service in short notice won't do any good for both platforms. OpenFeint user data which has been collected for past 5 years will be totally lost. Developer will start hating GREE from this idiotic action and will turn to rival service, eg. GameSpy. And also developers will not certain how long GREE will continue supporting this GREE Platform thing if they decide to migrate to another service again.

Anyway, I can consider this as a good news for me, because, now I knows that which social networking service I cannot rely on.

[Edit] I accidentally pressed Delete button when I wanted to edit my comments and then my comments were gone without any confirmation. How nice GI!
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Lee Hansiel Lim Game Developer - Unity3D, Anino PlayLab6 years ago
Interesting. I can only imagine how irritating this is for a lot of developers who depend on OpenFeint's data and service. Also, I wonder how this will affect their (OpenFeint's) partnership with Photon Networking...
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Show all comments (5)
Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters6 years ago
"If we do nothing, new users and users who have previously opted into OpenFeint in GoNinja will most likely not be able to launch our game after the OpenFeint shutdown - it will freeze on the loading screen,”
Maybe they should have written their game to cope with OpenFeint not working in the first place and fail gracefully and fall back to playing without it.
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Pablo Valcarcel CEO & Co Founder, Geosophic6 years ago
This was something that could be foreseen, but still feels, like the Japanese would say: 'Bad Form'.

Luckily there are quite a few interesting alternatives out there: Scoreoid, GameCenter, Swarm...

Also, (and sorry for the shameless plug here), Geosophic ( could be a possibility if you're interested in cross-platform leaderboards.

Disclaimer: I work in that company, so if you have any questions feel free to ping me :).
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