How OpenFeint Hopes to Change the Mobile Gaming Industry

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The popularity of social gaming platforms, especially on mobile devices, has contributed largely to the gaming industry's recent explosion. It's clear that many consumers are obsessed with games such as Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Angry Birds, but even with this growth, one can't help but wonder if these games will stick around for the long-term.

According to Jason Citron, the CEO of mobile social gaming network OpenFeint, the games may not last forever, but the impact of them will influence the future of gaming.

"Farmville and Angry Birds - they'll probably be fads. Most things are, but I think that the type of games they are represent, for the first time ever, games really becoming a true mass market media," he said.

In what ways do you think games like Farmville and Angry Birds are influencing the gaming industry? Let us know.

Citron recognizes this impact and hopes to capitalize on it through OpenFeint. His company recently sold to GREE, a Japanese mobile social gaming platform, for $104 million. He told us that the acquisition would help the platform expand into new markets around the world.

OpenFeint is also working to allow all gamers to play against each other regardless of what platform they are using. The company partnered with SEGA recently in an effort to advance cross platform connectivity. In other words, both iPhone gamers and Android gamers can play against each other.

"It's really the first time on a major platform that people have had the ability to play against their friends no matter what platform they're on," said Citron.

Traditionally, gaming has been very closed, but Citron is hoping to change it by integrating a Facebook approach. The company launched GameFeed recently, which is a cross platform newsfeed feature that allows users to communicate with their friends in real-time.

Citron told us that they want to bring "simplicity to gaming on mobile devices" and that they believe their open, social model is a step in making it happen.

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