Taito Corporation – legendary creators of the famous Space Invaders and more recently, publishers of the Space Invaders Infinity Gene iPhone port – have entered into an agreement with Aurora Feint Corporation to utilize OpenFeint technology to power social integration in Taito’s iPhone games.
OpenFeint technology, reported to have over 1 million active iPhone users per month, is a social platform for iPhone applications. Essentially, an iPhone application developer signs up with OpenFeint to integrate a game with the OpenFeint SDK, and the game is then connected to the OpenFeint platform. The platform includes features such as leaderboards, challenges, profiles, chat and friends. Taito intends to add these social features to their library of iPhone games which include top 10 applications such as Pocket God, FieldRunners and geoDefense Swarm.
What’s not mentioned is whether players of Taito’s games will be able to connect with the200 other games that implement the OpenFeint technology. OpenFeint had gained a lot of attention for its “One Touch iPromote” system, where players of a game could click the iPromote button, and be upsold to see other games that their OpenFeint friends were playing. This, of course, would not be in the best interest of Taito if it were driving players to other developers’ games.
Taito has been actively supporting their iPhone releases. Specifically, Puzzle Bobble recently updated to leverage Apple’s “in-app purchases” model, where users can engage in microtransactions tobuy small powerups and extras for the game. Space Invaders Infinity Gene recently announced it’s 2.0 update, which includes OpenFeint’s global leaderboards among other updates. Also interesting to note is Taito is owned by Square-Enix, who recently announced Final Fantasy for the iPhone.