Social gaming infrastructure developer Aurora Feint announced the launch of a private beta for OpenFeint X, a social platform focused on free-to-play, microtransaction-supported games for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Aurora Feint positions its new platform as an iPhone equivalent to the free-to-play model adopted by Facebook social game developers Zynga and PlayFish.
OpenFeint X gives developers free access to a set of core services and exposure via a linked social network. Each supported game may feature a chat wall, a news feed, and incentivized invites that reward players with in-game bonuses for getting friends to sign up.
Aurora Feint will additionally offer premium services for OpenFeint X developers, including access to a cloud infrastructure, detailed analytics, and the implementation of game-specific currency.
"OpenFeint X is the culmination of bringing the best of Xbox Live and Facebook's App Platform to the iPhone, and extending the multi-billion dollar virtual goods social gaming economy to mobile," said Peter Relan, Executive Chairman of Aurora Feint. "OpenFeint X is the platform on which the next big social gaming companies will be created."
The existing OpenFeint platform is a free service that tracks player achievements and statistics across more than 1,000 supported games in the iTunes App Store. Currently, OpenFeint boasts 12 million users, and is growing by 25 percent monthly.
OpenFeint X launched in private beta today with Aurora Feint strategic partner DeNa Group. The platform will be introduced to the general public in phases over the next few months.