The group-buying model as we know it has been gaining a lot of traction lately. Today, OpenFeint is incorporating this lucrative model into mobile gaming with the launch of Game Channel. More after the jump.
The group buying model is simple to understand. Local businesses promote daily deals to the consumers touting deep discounts. Each offer, however, only materializes if selected number of the offers is pre-sold. What OpenFeint is doing is applying this group buying to mobile game purchasing with a twist. Launching to its 50M + user base, OpenFeint’s Game Channel will let developers promote games whenever they choose, providing a constant flux of daily and weekly deals to pick from. Game Channel will also feature a ‘Free Game of the Day’.
“We have a motivated community that has proven time and again that they’ll come back for great deals. This happens every day with Free Game of the Day,” says Jason Citron, CEO of OpenFeint. “Fire Sale is a truly social, community-based promotion, that is a perfect way for game developers to get their games downloaded.”
Game Channel’s notable feature called Fire Sale, will feature a premium game regularly priced at $1.99 to $9.99. When enough Game Channels user vote to say they want the game, the price of the game drops. If the deal materializes, OpenFeint will send push notifications to the voters with details that the sale is activated for a limited time. Notice that players won’t have to ‘purchase’ before hand as Apple may not allow that. First game available in Fire Sale is Jaws, based on the original IP of the action thriller from the 70s.
“We’re excited that Jaws will be the first game featured in Group-buying promotions have great potential for mobile games, so we’re thrilled that OpenFeint is bringing them to their community,” said Jon Walsh, CEO of Bytemark Games.
App discovery is still a nuisance, whether on iOS or Android. In the future, people will own multiple connected devices that will include phones, tablets, notebooks, televisions each of which will have their own specific content and app stores. Companies like AndFriends are trying to solve this problem by making discovery and search social by leveraging Android-using friend network. The beauty about OpenFeint’s offering lies in the fact that people will want to tell their friends to vote on a game in order to get the great deal.
Although the deals being offered will be good buys, one can always find good deals elsewhere, such as on appshopper.com. We can expect such an offering to come to Apple’s Game Center and other social gaming platforms over time.
Developers interested in using Game Channel should visit OpenFeint.com/Developers.