Social Gaming Roundup: Free Games, the iPad, Assassin’s Creed, and More

FreeGameoftheDayAurora Feint Generates 5 Million iPhone Game Downloads – Distribution has always been a problem for iPhone developers, but in an effort to improve the odds on this problem, Aurora Feint created a special promotion on its OpenFeint social platform. The experiment was called the “Free Game of the Day Promotion,” and over the past four weeks has generated 5 million free game downloads.

The success has led to the launch of FreeGameoftheDay.com and will put free game offers at the forefront for a stated 15 million users. To draw a parallel on the success, an Aurora Feint partner in this endeavor, Origin8 creator of Space Station: Frontier, saw 160,000 downloads in a single day, and 1 million overall.

iPadiPad Coming in April – We’ve talked a lot about the iPad in recent weeks, but now it looks like the masses will get to check things out for themselves soon enough. Apple announced today that the official launch of it’s new device is scheduled for April 3rd in the United States.

The Wi-Fi only model will be available first, with the 3G added later in the month. However, both will be eligible for pre-order come March 12th, with a cost ranging from $499 to $629, respectively for the 16GB version and $699 to $829 for the 64GB version.

KweditKwedit Raises $3.3 Million – Kwedit, the virtual goods payment site that allows users, 13 and up, to borrow money for virtual items and pay it back later, has, according to TechCrunch, gained another $3.3 million in a second round of funding led by Maveron. The company says it has signed six new merchants including VoIP provider, PokeTalk, an unnamed MMO, a test prep service, and a credit record protection service.

Peanut Labs Gets New Partners – Earlier this week, ad offer network Peanut Labs announced not one, but three new partnerships including the virtual world Meez, massively multiplayer online game publisher IGG, and virtual currency payment service Zeevex.  Each of the three are slated to integrate the networks collection of products in the near future.

Meez Promotes the Red Cross – One of Peanut Labs new partners, Meez, had news of its own, as the browser-based virtual world announced its promotion of the Red Cross throughout the month of March. The teen-oriented realm incorporates a virtual blood bank where avatars can visit and donate virtual blood in order to receive a limited edition Red Cross t-shirt in-game. Within the digital donation destination, however, will be links to the Red Cross website where they can learn more and even find out how to make real donations.

Assassin's Creed II MultiplayerAssassin’s Creed II Multiplayer Comes to iPhone – Previewed, briefly, in early February, Ubisoft has finally released, according to appadvice, Assassin’s Creed II Multiplayer for the iPhone. Essentially a game of deadly hide-and-go-seek, players sneak about trying to kill each other over a Wi-Fi connection. Sadly, this means the game is not 3G compatible (yet), but as a launch promotion, the game is currently free, so that is quickly forgiven. The promotion was only slated at 48 hours and the game was released early in the week and is still free as of Friday. So… yeah, download it for free now while you can, as it will cost $2.99 soon enough.

Lord of the Rings OnlineLord of the Rings Online Links Up to Facebook – Looks like the MMO Lord of the Rings Online is following World of Warcraft’s footsteps out of Middle Earth and into Facebook. Through a basic Facebook application, LOTRO Player Feed, users will be able to sign in using their My LOTRO account information and track/publish accomplishments to their feeds. This includes level ups, rank ups, quest counts, deed counts, and so on. It even tracks when you log on and off (don’t worry, it waits a while after each as to avoid spam). Also, all of the automatic publishing for each in-game achievement can be toggled on or off.