Market Watch

Aurora Feint Raises Funds for Android Expansion



Aurora Feint, US creator of social mobile games platform OpenFeint, raised $4m in its second funding round. The investment, from Chinese games developer The9, will help expand its platform to Google's Android mobile operating system (OS).

The deal follows a first funding round, closed October 2009, in which Japanese mobile portal DeNA gained a 20 per cent stake in AuroraFeint for an undisclosed sum.

OpenFeint claims 28m registered users across 2,200 games on Apple's App Store. It recently announced OpenFeint X, a virtual goods management system that will enable developers to build free-to-play social mobile games.

Analysis
As Android gains traction in the smartphone market and with Apple set to launch its own Game Center platform, expansion is vital for Aurora Feint.

Thus far OpenFeint has proved successful on Apple's App Store; however its future appears uncertain. Apple is set to launch its own social games platform for App Store games. Apple's Game Center will offer a very similar service to OpenFeint, and possibly render the third party platform irrelevant.

The move to Android makes sense; Screen Digest predicts that Android smartphone shipments will outstrip iPhone by 2012. Success on Android, however, may be harder to achieve. On Apple's App Store, games remain the most successful content category, accounting for the majority of downloads and revenues. In contrast, games comprise around only one third of revenues and downloads from Google's Android Market.

Find Out More > iSuppli | Screen Digest Mobile Media Intelligence Service