PapayaMobile Returns to iOS With Gaming Engine, Social SDK

While many of the mobile-social gaming platform players seem like they’re in a rush to get to Android, PapayaMobile is making a curiously retro step.

It’s coming back to iOS after a lengthy hiatus. The company is bringing its social SDKs back to Apple’s platform where game developers can add features like leaderboards, challenges and game invitations to their apps.

While PapayaMobile, a company that stretches across three continents with officies in Beijing, London and Silicon Valley, has run a farming-style game on iOS for a few months, it’s been awhile since it operated on iOS. The company was originally booted off for issues around lacing a single virtual currency through several games.

“When Papaya first entered iOS, we realized that there were features within our social platform that did not mesh well with iOS requirements, features that were needed to allow us to grow at an accelerated pace,” the company’s head of developer relations Paul Chen. “The Android platform provided this initial flexibility, hence our decision to refocus our business on Android at that point in time.” The company says it has about 30 million users in its network.

Papaya is going against the grain in returning to iOS. Competitors like DeNA’s Mobage have decided to focus mostly on Android, where it will have more leverage to tap into payments or virtual currency revenue. OpenFeint is also focusing more attention on Android because it’s difficult to monetize a gaming network on iOS, given competition from Apple’s Game Center and the platform’s restriction around payment providers. Heyzap is also fairly focused on a direct-to-consumer social networking and gaming app on Android.

Papaya is likely making this offering so that the developers it courts on Android can use the same product and SDK when they operate on iOS, even if it doesn’t mean additional revenue for the platform.