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OpenFeint service shutting down on Dec. 14, could disrupt some iOS and Android games

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

OpenFeint, the third-party social network platform for iOS and Android apps, will be discontinuing its service on Dec. 14, according to its owner, Gree. The closure of OpenFeint and its network servers may result in "service disruptions" and a "poor player experience" for mobile games with OpenFeint integration, the company warns, as well as the loss of player data.

Gree announced the closure of OpenFeint service on its developer website earlier this week, a final push to get app developers to migrate their OpenFeint-enabled software — and associated leaderboards, achievements, screenshots and game descriptions — to Gree's platform. Gree says in an e-mail to app developers that the migration from OpenFeint to Gree "can take less than a week" depending on the level of integration of OpenFeint.

However, it's likely that not all iOS and Android developers will have the opportunity or financing to update their apps to migrate or remove OpenFeint and resubmit them to Apple and Google's respective app stores by Dec. 14, leading to service disruptions with some apps.

OpenFeint launched for iOS in 2009, offering global leaderboards, achievements and social networking services, features that were later provided by Apple's Game Center the following year. OpenFeint was adopted early by popular iPhone apps including Pocket God, Tiny Wings, Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja and many others, games that later integrated Game Center. Many iOS games still feature OpenFeint integration, including titles like Dungeon Raid, QWOP and Super Crate Box.

A version of OpenFeint was released for Android in September 2010.

In 2011, OpenFeint was acquired by Gree for $104 million. Gree announced earlier this year that it planned to support OpenFeint services through Q3 2012 as it migrated network services to its own platform.

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