OpenFeint announces version 2.4, now in Fieldrunners
The guys over at OpenFeint have released version 2.4 of their social gaming platform, and they've also corralled one of the biggest games on the App Store into using it: you can find the brand new version in the popular Fieldrunners app. New features of the software include a simplified UI, a completely revamped "Discovery" section (popular among developers for recommending games to users, but good for users as well in terms of finding new things to play), and a new "Forum and Fan Club" system which allows for discussion about games and between devs and customers right inside the app.
Other improvements include a new geolocation leaderboard (so you can see where people are nabbing the high scores), and tweaks on other social features like the "presence" system, which features Xbox Live-style announcements when friends come on and offline while playing.
It's interesting how this sort of sub-culture is burgeoning simply inside individual games, completely unofficially, on the App Store. You have to wonder if Apple is watching any of this -- certainly there's a call from both devs and players for social connections like this, and it would be interesting to see a system that worked App Store-wide, perhaps even with current iTunes accounts. OpenFeint and the other folks working on their own social networks are doing a lot of interesting things already, but I have to wonder what it would be like if Apple got involved.
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