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OpenFeint co-founder offers relief to those burned by Gree

"For whatever strategic reasons, they decided to alienate a lot of their customers," OpenFeint co-founder Peter Relan tells us. His alternative, OpenKit, will be debuted at the Game Developers Conference next week.
The new owners of OpenFeint, the game platform that dominated smartphones before Apple introduced Game Center, may have burned a few bridges when it made a surprise announcement late last year to pull the plug on the service. While it has its own alternative -- the Gree Platform -- it provided developers less than a month to transfer their games. Worse, any game data stored in the cloud was deleted forever. "For whatever strategic reasons, they decided to alienate a lot of their customers," OpenFeint co-founder Peter Relan tells us. Relan is getting ready to debut OpenKit, a cross-platform alternative that builds on what he learned at OpenFeint, at GDC next week. Like OpenFeint, it offers cloud storage of leaderboards and achievements, handles push notifications, and eases in-app purchasing. Unlike OpenFeint, however, OpenKit is also open source. "The two big asks [when speaking to developers] were: give us cloud services for our Unity games, and help us migrate off OpenFeint to OpenKit," says Relan. "So we did it. This is an open source project: developers are the voice of OpenKit." To attract as many former OpenFeint developers as possible, OpenKit is partnering with a new company, Kitboost, to offer "free assistance and full service migration services" for developers to make the move. "[Kitboost is] the old team that used to do OpenFeint integration for developers," says Relan. "They are effectively jumping on the bandwagon." For those interested in checking it out, OpenKit will have a booth at the GDC expo hall. The platform currently has 50 developers in a private beta. A public beta is expected in April, and the full service is expected to go live in May. More information here.

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