Scoreloop is launching a new version of its white-label Core Social software development kit (SDK) today, a service that provides social features to mobile games. With it will come the support for in-game currencies as well as downloadable content. This is a significant upgrade for the company, as it comes at a time when mobile game developers are starting to get more traffic and revenue by making their games more social.
Essentially, through Scoreloop, developers will now be able to monetize their mobile titles through the virtual goods model as well as charging for new, downloadable content. As an example, FDG Entertainment, developers behind Parachute Panic, say that Scoreloop is already “powering our new downloadable themes and in-game currency.” To that end, developers can choose to let players earn the items through in-game means, or charge them a small fee, such as $0.99. As for the payment processing itself, this is done through Apple’s App Store.
Rivals, like OpenFeint, have already been moving in this direction — that company introduced a version of OpenFeint X in February, which includes virtual currency options.
Nevertheless, Marc Gumpinger CEO of Munich, Germany-based Scoreloop tells us that this Scoreloop upgrade has potential much greater then just in-game themes and virtual goods.
Through the new upgrade, actual game features are sharable. Confused? Gumpinger says the upgrade will allow players the ability to actual work with their friends in Scoreloop-powered titles, rather than just competing via challenges and leaderboards. As an example, and on the most basic level, users can issue challenges to their friends and place virtual goods or currencies on the table as a wager, granting significantly more meaning to the now-old concept of “beat my high score.”
However, the concept goes much deeper than just this. Game designers will now actually be able to incorporate mechanics that let users asynchronously work together in a single game. Sadly, he couldn’t give us specific games that are using this yet, but general examples include the ability for one player to work on constructing an item, then “gift” it, so-to-speak, to a friend to work on it, and so on. You can see this mechanic in action on Facebook already. Players need to work together to get a killer whale in Rekoo’s virtual fish-caring game Sunshine DeepSea, or call in their friends to fight a boss in the role-playing title Castle Age, for example.
Currently, a number of iPhone developers have started taking advantage of the new Core Social features, including Astro Ranch and Parachute Panic HD. Moreover, as Scoreloop is cross-platform – iPhone, Android, and the iPad – the latter title will appear on Apple’s new device come April 3rd.