Activision developing its own social gaming network on mobile, akin to Origin or OpenFeint

Publisher partnering with mobile marketing company, Flurry, to better work with indies.

Today, Activision revealed an intent to push deeper into the mobile space, with plans to create a social gaming network akin to EA's Origin or Apple's Game Center. Helping them achieve that goal is a new partnership with Flurry, a mobile marketing company, that will shepherd mobile indie projects through development, implementing social gaming functionality along the way.

Simon Khalaf, the president and CEO of Flurry, described the goals of the partnership in an interview with Polygon:

"[The mobile] market is dominated by the indies, who have done a phenomenal job of building great games, but have not yet taken it to the max in which they can manage an audience, they can grow an audience and they can build a community around games. That's what we're doing today and that's what we're talking about in partnership with Activision, which has decades ... of building great games and managing communities around them."

So the plan is to shepherd mobile indies through the development process, offering them tracking tools and advice on how best to monetize their games while bringing them into the fold of a new initiative.

"Activision's strength is a long history in game development and game publishing," said Greg Canessa, VP of Activision Mobile. "This is a marriage made in heaven, being able to partner with smaller developers, indie developers and bring some sort of combination of funding, marketing, user acquisition, resources and scale, as well as an Activision Mobile Platform to connect the users and the community across all of these games."

...an Activision Mobile Platform to connect the users and the community across all of these games

It's the mention of the Activision Mobile Platform that should be of most interest to gamers. The mobile space is quickly becoming crowded with competing social gaming services which seek to bring communities closer together. It's that market, currently dominated by services like Game Center, Origin and Crystal, that Activision wants a piece of. So when will we start to see the fruits of their labor?

"Definitely this year," says Canessa. "When you think about a mobile platform or a game service, it means something a little different. There's technology, there's under-the-hood features like in-app purchase, there's analytics and then there are log-ins and community features and social and so forth. You have actually seen some of it. The under-the-hood pieces have been rolled out with some of our early first-party mobile efforts and you'll be seeing more of the [user-facing] side of that in the future."

Once it launches, the plan is to have all mobile titles published by Activision support the new Activision Mobile Platform. This would include major franchises like Call of Duty and Skylanders. No word yet on whether there are plans to expand the social platform outside of mobile and onto other platforms, as we've seen with Origin and Game Center.

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