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.

This article was originally published on Tuaw.
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