OpenKit aiming to fill OpenFeintsized hole, launches in private beta today

OpenFeint seed investor Peter Relan is fed up with his former creation's lack of existence -- the open source software once powered the social integration behind many mobile games. After Japanese social gaming giant GREE bought OpenFeint in April 2011 -- primarily to stifle competition with its own, similar service -- the service continued until it was closed this past December. Relan responded in turn, announcing plans for a new, similar service, called "OpenKit," that same month. Tomorrow, that service goes into private beta, with a variety of mobile devs already signed on.

The service can be employed across Android and iOS, implementing cloud data storage, leaderboards, achievements, multiplayer functionality, push notifications, and in-app purchases -- essentially exactly what OpenFeint once aimed to provide. Given the open nature of OpenKit, and Apple's already existing Game Center (which serves very similar purposes), we'd say this is gonna be a bigger hit with Android devices than iOS. Whether it gets adopted at all, however, remains to be seen. For now, it's in private beta, and "over 500 developers" have already signed on -- head to the main site if you'd like to take part. And do it quick, as only another 20 developers can get into the beta starting tomorrow. If you do miss out, there'll be more openings in the future, though Relan wouldn't tell us exactly when just yet.

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OpenKit

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OPENFEINT CO-FOUNDER PETER RELAN LAUNCHES OPENKIT: A BACK-END-AS-A-SERVICE FOR CROSS PLATFORM MOBILE DEVELOPERS SEEKING CLOUD DATA STORAGE, LEADERBOARDS, SOCIAL NETWORK INTEGRATION AND MORE
In the "Post OpenFeint Shutdown" Era, OpenKit offers Open Source; Open Data, Developer Friendly Back-End-As-A-Service; Experienced Dev Team, 500 Developer Sign Ups, 50 Private Beta Developers and 10 Developer Endorsements
Burlingame, CA – February 1, 2013 – Peter Relan, the co-founder of OpenKit, the first completely open back-end-as-a-service (BAAS) platform for mobile developers with a guarantee of no lock-in of developer data, today announced that over five hundred developers have signed up for OpenKit since it was announced last month, and an official private beta program is being kicked off today.
OpenKit is for Android and iOS developers interested in providing Cloud Data Storage for Game State, Leaderboards, Achievements, Multiplayer Features, Push Notifications, and In-App Purchases to their games – with the freedom to host their own backend service. The source code will be made available under Apache (for client code) and AGPL (for server code) licenses.
Relan created OpenKit in response to GREE closing the OpenFeintTM service (co-founded by Relan in 2008) last month, and a broader need in the industry for an open architecture that gives developers the backend services they need to prosper in the Post-PC era, without getting locked in.
Rob Segal, Get Set Games - "Being able to abstract out key components of any project and leverage them for multiple platforms eases many development effort pains. The team at OpenKit understands that and we're looking forward to collaborating with them to realize that focus."
Public Support for OpenKit
Industry-leading iOS and Android developers have thrown their weight behind OpenKit including Pascal Bestebroer of OrangePixel, John O'Reilly & Greg Harding of Flightless Ltd, Davide Pasca of Oyatsukai Games, Warner Skoch of Vertex Blaster, Manuel Martínez-Almeida of ForzeField Studios, Jason Tartaglia of Around the Clock Games, Lachlan Laycock of Pre Play Sports, Darren Sillett of Mighty Mighty Good Games, Richard Weeks of Total Monkery, and Laurent Mascherpa of Massive Finger.
"On Dec 13, we announced the OpenKit project to solve the recurring problem in 2012 of developer furor over APIs. Hundreds of developers signed up immediately to tell us what they wanted," said Relan. "Today we are unveiling the momentum of support behind OpenKit, with the goal of providing all important mobile back-end services for mobile game developers. Even iOS developer who have access to Game Center services today, recognize the importance of cross platform development for Android, and have come to us in large numbers asking for OpenKit. There is a reason: OpenKit is a single API and service across iOS and Android."
OpenKit Team
The team of developers building OpenKit is the team that built the Joypad developer SDK, adopted by over 100 developers for making tablets games remotely controllable by smartphones. The Joypad team pivoted in December, co-founding OpenKit with Relan and an EIR from YouWeb. http://openkit.io/about
Relan also announced that OpenKit has selected 50 private beta developers who want to help refine and extend OpenKit 1.0, which is expected to be available to all developers in public beta in February, and go live into production by March 2013. Developers planning to participate in the private beta and/or contribute to the open source project can register at http://openkit.io
Unlike OpenFeint, OpenKit is not intended to be a user network: developers can take their user data and OpenKit source code and host their own backend service. OpenKit will provide a universal authorization service for any user network including Facebook, Game Center, Twitter, Google+, GREE, etc.
Version 1.0 Features
 Cross Platform Cloud Storage for game save state
 Cross Platform Leaderboards
 Authentication Services for Facebook and Twitter
Developer Endorsements
Pascal Bestebroer, OrangePixel - "Todd and Lou are two great guys, their Joypad service is simply amazing and works as you expect. I completely trust them to come up with a great cross platform service for cloud saving and can't wait to get my hands on it for OrangePixel's cross platform games!" Warner Skoch, Vertex Blaster - "I've worked with Lou and Todd on Joypad and Game Console, and I can safely say that they know what they are doing. They are all about building solid products that are easy for developers to incorporate into their games, and add a tremendous amount of value. I'm totally excited to use their next project - it will be a game changer for cross-platform game developers everywhere!" John O'Reilly & Greg Harding, Flightless Ltd - "Adding Joypad to our game was a breeze and working with Lou and Todd on new sdk features and platforms was great. Their rock-solid product along with expert support and good natured encouragement really helped Flightless just focus on creating our game. We expect nothing less from their new OpenKit service and look forward to seeing it released!" Davide Pasca, Oyatsukai Games - "OpenKit can't come quickly enough for us. It's poised to fill the void left by OpenFeint and it's both Open Source and cross platform, two of the most valuable features for a game developer." Jason Tartaglia, Around the Clock Games - "For the past several years, I have been desperately searching for a unified and cross-platform cloud save, achievement and high score service. I strongly believe that gamers will rejoice at the opportunity to have a singular source for saving their progress and tracking achievements. I'm absolutely ecstatic that the same two guys who created Joypad (Lou and Todd) are taking on this endeavor. Joypad worked as advertised and was extremely easy to integrate. I hope to be first in line to add their new service to my products."
Manuel Martínez-Almeida, ForzeField Studios - "Lou and Todd added great value to my game with Joypad. Adding a multiplayer mode to Infinity Field was a breeze using the Joypad SDK, all the effort was made by these guys. I'm looking forward to using OpenKit in my future games and leaving the hard stuff of cloud saving in their hands."
Lachlan Laycock, Pre Play Sports - "OpenKit promises to help us provide quality base features with minimal effort, which frees us up to spend more time concentrating on our core offering."
Darren Sillett, Mighty Mighty Good Games - "At Mighty Mighty Good Games, our players come first. We are excited about the upcoming OpenKit as it allows us to build custom features for our players and be in complete control of the future of that experience." Laurent Mascherpa, Massive Finger - "I've developed 2 server techs for online competition before and it's very hard to maintain as an indie. If a community can maintain a solid framework, and extend it with new cool social features, everyone will benefit!"
Richard Weeks, Total Monkery - "Total Monkery are really excited about putting OpenKit systems into their upcoming games. With the end of OpenFeint it's great to see something else not only take its place, but provide better functionality. We think that keeping it an open platform and allowing developers to shape it means it's got a great future."
About OpenKit
OpenKit™ is backed by Peter Relan, founder of YouWeb Incubator (www.youwebinc.net), co-founder and seed investor of OpenFeint™, the pioneering social gaming network for the smartphone. OpenKit's open architecture gives developers the backend services they need to prosper in the Post-PC era without developer lock-in. To sign up for OpenKit™ and learn more about how OpenKit™ empowers app developers please contact us at http://openkit.io/.