I've often wondered why, instead of creating their own social gaming platform with Game Center, Apple didn't just swallow up a successful third-party platform like OpenFeint. Now, it seems that Apple may have lost its chance: OpenFeint announced this morning, after another multi-million dollar round of financing led by Chinese gaming firm The9, that it will be extending its social gaming network to Android apps. The same features and services available to developers on iOS devices will soon be available to Android developers, and OpenFeint is launching on Android with a few major app developers in tow and support for Google Checkout and a few other services.
Now, this may not mean much for those of us who only use iOS devices; OpenFeint will carry on as it has, and it will still integrate with Apple's Game Center as planned. However, it does mean that OpenFeint is no longer serving developers at Apple's whim; if there's something that Apple doesn't allow them to do that the Android platform does, they can still carry out those plans.
Of course, it's a big step for Android as well; one more significant iPhone developer service is now available on Google's open source platform. It's a very interesting move by OpenFeint, and I don't think it's the last we'll see of major iPhone-based services opening up to the competing Android platform.