A recent update to the smash-hit iPhone game Jetpack Joyride marks an important day in iOS social gaming history — OpenFeint has been removed from the game. As the developers strive to make it “as fast and stable as possible,” they made the decision to remove the dying and clunky social gaming platform in favor of exclusively using Apple’s Game Center. I’ve tested it myself, and the absence of the service is obvious, because the app runs a bit smoother on my — now outdated — iPad 2.
OpenFeint started as a service in February 2009, not long after the release of the iPhone 3G and the iPod touch 2G. Like many other apps, OpenFeint has been pushed out of the iOS ecosystem by competing features implemented by Apple — in this case, Game Center. According to Polygon, OpenFeint is finally shutting its doors on December 14th. The service has now been acquired by Japanese company GREE and has been shut down in favor of their own similar platform.
This update to Jetpack Joyride is probably just the first of a string of app updates with an “OpenFeint removed” note. While it is possible for game developers to migrate their OpenFeint services over to the new GREE platform, I predict that most will ditch the service entirely because Game Center has undoubtedly taken foothold over iOS social gaming. The full update release notes are after the break. (more…)