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PlayPhone Network Aims To Make Mobile Gaming More Social

PlayPhone's senior VP and general manager, Anders Envu, details the goals of the company's recently launched mobile gaming network, noting the importance of social connectivity in mobile gaming.
Earlier this week, mobile gaming company PlayPhone launched its new mobile social network, hoping to establish a strong foothold in the connected mobile space by focusing on "real, personal interaction." PlayPhone says it plans to stand out among rivals like Gree's popular OpenFeint network by building on existing online mobile features and emphasizing player-to-player connectivity. In fact, the company is so confident in its approach that it calls its new platform the "first true social gaming network" on mobile phones. "Posting a high score or obtaining an achievement isn't social," PlayPhone senior VP and general manager Anders Evju explained to Gamasutra. "To us, being 'social' is interacting directly with another player." This would entail cross-platform play, the ability to jump in and out of a friend's game in synchronous multiplayer, and online chat, according to PlayPhone's vision. "This level of real, personal interaction is social and is exactly the reason we built the PlayPhone platform the way we did," he said. With this increased focus on player-to-player interaction, PlayPhone hopes to increase user engagement, and drive users to keep playing the games featured on its network, which includes Playphone-developed titles like Farm Invaders and Bingo Live! "Playing games with friends and enabling real-time interaction and friend updates drives adoption, usage and engagement," said Evju. "We all know that social games are played more often and for longer periods of time, and that scoring that winning point over a friend is significantly more satisfying than beating a computer." The PlayPhone network, which made its unofficial debut last year, currently has more than 3 million registered smartphone users, and Evju noted that the company has been seeing "50 to 100 percent increases in MAUs month over month" as of late.

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