Way back in February at Macworld, one of my questions to Eros Remini of OpenFeint was pretty blunt: "Why," I asked a representative from the biggest third-party social gaming network on the iPhone, "haven't we seen an official platform-wide network?" Remini didn't have a good answer for Apple, but he did say that OpenFeint was happy to step up and fill the void. Apple answered for themselves this morning: They announced Game Center, which will be an official social gaming network for the iPhone and iPad, complete with friend lists, leaderboards, achievements, and everything else that third-party providers like OpenFeint have set up already.
So what does OpenFeint think of Game Center? We contacted it for a statement and we are told that OpenFeint is welcoming Apple's Game Center. The company has recently released a virtual goods marketplace called OpenFeint X, and their statement about Game Center says that there's still a place for OpenFeint on top of Apple's official service.
"OpenFeint X is currently built on top of OpenFeint and in the future it will also sit on Apple's Game Center social graph, achievements and leaderboards so developers and gamers don't miss a step," Jason Citron, CEO of Aurora Feint says. Current OpenFeint players (of which there are 19 million at last count) will automatically become OpenFeint X members, and it sounds like OpenFeint plans to move on to the virtual goods market, leaving their old social gaming realm behind for Apple.
There were a few other reactions from various developers and publishers about the Game Center news -- read more information from PopCap and Ngmoco after the link below.