Flash streaming service iSwifter is launching a 4.1 version today that adds Google+ Games to its iPad customers, putting the platform on equal footing with the Facebook games platform that iSwifter already supports.
The iSwifter app takes games available on Facebook (and now, G+) and converts their mouse-and-keyboard control presents to a multi-touch-friendly interface before streaming the game to mobile and tablet devices. The user enters the app, chooses which games platform on which they wish to play, signs into the service and then can browse for their games and begin playing. The experience is best suited to iPad where the screen size allows players to experience the game in the same dimensions as a web browser on a computer.
iSwifter has refined its product in the months since we last saw it, first adding and then removing data caching for Facebook logins. The challenge, says founder Rajat Gupta, is communicating to iSwifter users that they are still using the Facebook and Google+ service they know and trust — and that iSwifter will not abuse login data. Once understood, data caching logins would streamline the iSwifter experience, and get them in front of their games much more quickly.
Gupta walked us through a demo of the G+ Games functionality, loading up Flood-It! as an example. Here, the control conversion is very simple: mouse clicks become finger taps. On Facebook, some games required more elaborate gestures like swipes and rapid-tapping. For some apps, like King.com’s Bubble Saga, the control conversion didn’t completely gel with the intended gameplay: taking a mouse click-drag-release action and trying to convert it to a less precise two-finger press and drag action.
Gupta says that when iSwifter is aware of those conflicts in interface, all it requires is a simple adjustment for optimal controls. This is a key point as iSwifter looks to partner with specific developers to package their games as mobile apps powered by iSwifter. Already, Gupta says, there are several mobile apps like this available in the App Store, but he declined to give names. He did say, however, that of that of the $10 million in revenue iSwifter expects to earn this year, these “powered by iSwifter” apps make up a healthy chunk. The other part comes from direct app sales.
We’re interested to see with whom iSwifter with partner in the next year. Many social game developers are desperate to get onto mobile and tablet devices, but lack the resources to hire brand new teams to adapt existing games or create enitrely new games for those platforms. Even when developers have secured funding for a cross-platform push (King.com, Kobojo, etc.), mobile versions of their popular Facebook franchises have been slow to materialize. Given the trouble we had getting Bubble Saga to work, it’s not hard to imagine King.com is having a similar how-do-we-get-this-onto-iPad headache.
Gupta asks that developers interested in partnerships get in touch with iSwifter.