Apple said today during its iPhone launch event that its Game Center is a “huge hit” with 67 Million Game Center accounts to date. The iOS developer also is launching a series of upgrades for the service that include friend recommendations, revamped achievements, and profile photos — some useful features, that third-party competitors have long offered. The update will come with the iOS 5 update next week.
Despite the iPhone and iPad’s success in video games, Apple has been slow to get behind its in-house platform app. Game Center didn’t even hit iOS until two years after the launch of the game-friendly iPhone 3G. By that point, mobile game developers like Ngmoco and OpenFeint had already implemented their own mobile games networks that included features Apple is only just announcing today — like friend-finding.
Today’s stat is also not as meaningful as it could have been, as 67 million accounts does not necessarily mean 67 million active users. Many people likely set up the app but then never used it.
Just for context, OpenFeint claimed to reach 75 million users through 5,000 games on iOS at the time the company was acquired by GREE in April. Roughly half a year before, DeNA bought Ngmoco, which is now pushing DeNA’s Mobage mobile-social gaming platform onto Android. The platform likely won’t make it to iOS, but even there, Ngmoco still maintains its Plus+ network, which at one point boasted 13.5 million registered users. DeNA claims that Mobage reaches 30 million users in Japan alone to date.