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OpenFeint comes to Android

Chinese investment from online publisher The9 leads to new mobile expansion

Mobile social gaming network OpenFeint has announced plans to bring its virtual goods and community technology to the Android mobile operating system.

Due to launch "later this summer" the SDK will bring will make OpenFeint's online store and mobile payment software available to an even wider number of developers and users. The software incorporates Google Checkout and has already proven successful on Apple formats.

As a result of the new support, mobile content from publishers such as Astraware, Digital Chocolate, Glu Mobile, Hudson Soft will become available on Android devices for the first time. Along with titles from independent studios such as Distinct Dev (Moron Test), ustwo (Dot Dot Dot), Pik Pok (Flick Kick Football), RocketCat Games (Hook Champ), and TastyPlay.com (Kamikaze Race).

The expansion is being funded in part by a strategic investment from Chinese online publisher The9. The exact size of the investment though has not been revealed.

OpenFeint will continue to be open source and free to use for both developers and players, with over 28 million users and a presence in over 2,200 live games. This audience is expected to grow significantly with over 160,000 Android powered mobile devices shipping daily.

OpenFeint recently undertook a study into the mobile virtual goods market, which found that Americans spent $168 million on mobile virtual goods in 2009. Over 70 million Americans - 23 per cent of the population - were found to own some kind of smartphone.

"The explosion in mobile online gaming is a phenomenon that affects all members of the mobile ecosystem - from OS developers and OEMs to game developers and players," said Peter Relan, executive chairman of Aurora Feint.

"Online games are meant to be played with all of your friends - regardless of mobile operating system. We've decided to expand to Android with these mobile gaming giants because all smartphone owners deserve high quality, easy to find games," he added.

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David Jenkins