BURLINGAME, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 12, 2012) - Peter Relan, founder of social gaming incubator YouWeb, and pioneering seed investor behind OpenFeint™, the first and de-facto social gaming network for smartphones and tablets, announced today OpenKit™ the industry's first completely open platform for backend services for mobile developers, with a guarantee of "no lock-in of developer data."
With OpenKit™, developers will use an open source toolkit on iOS and Android to plug into backend services critical to apps in the post-PC era: common services for all types of apps, including a universal account authorization service and a cloud storage service, plus app-specific services such as leaderboards/achievements for game developers.
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.
Open Forever: No Walled Gardens
"With mobile developers facing extreme uncertainty over what happens to their data and their users when a developer platform like OpenFeint™ gets acquired, or TOS change ala Twitter™, there is only one path forward: open it all up and run it in the cloud," said Relan. "Data is as important to developers as their code: how would developers feel if they could never get their code off GitHub?"
"We need an open source, open data cloud service for developers where the terms are clearly articulated as: If you ever want to move off the OpenKit™ cloud service, you can take OpenKit™ source code and you can take your user data with you whenever YOU choose. If developers choose to host the service as a convenience to them, there will be a freemium pricing model available."
Crack Team Ready to Deliver by January 2013
OpenKit™ will be available as early as January 2013 assuming a large number of developers sign up to support the launch of the platform, with signups open at www.OpenKit.io starting today.
Relan says he was approached by a start-up team of "crack indie developers" a month ago with the idea, and the team is already working to develop OpenKit™ V1.0, and if a sufficient number of developers sign up in the first week after this announcement, the team will work 20 hours a day to double down and provide the toolkit: an open source license and a cloud-based service, as early as end January 2013.
Launch Day Product Features:
- OpenKit™ Source Code including Client Libraries and a Server API implementation
- OpenKit™ Cloud Service dashboard for developers
- Authorization service for Game Center, GREE, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ user credentials, and others as requested
- Gaming Services including Leaderboards and Achievements for iOS and Android, and Game Center integration on iOS
- Data Export Utility for developer to download their user data
- Instructions for how to host your own backend services on any cloud provider
Benefits Even for iOS Developers Using Game Center
Android developers have no de-facto choice today, so the benefits of OpenKit™ will be evident. Even though developers on iOS have the choice of using Game Center, it will be beneficial to use OpenKit™ on iOS because of the extensibility and data portability of OpenKit™. Developers will be able to add many more features by leveraging the Game Center compatibility architecture of OpenKit™.
For All Apps not Just Games: Differences from OpenFeint™
"This is not a statement on GREE's decision to transition OpenFeint™ developers to the GREE platform. They have announced a focus on a publishing model, so a platform API becomes less critical in such a model. This initiative is about the overall sentiment in 2012 regarding developer API's like Twitter, Facebook, OpenFeint™, and the desire developers have to control their own destiny," said Relan. "I love the work I did with Jason Citron and Danielle Cassley to create OpenFeint™, and now we have another incredible team ready to build this open platform. First of all, OpenKit™ is for all mobile apps, not just games. Secondly, we recognize that we will have to make our TOS different. Times have changed," said Relan.
"An open source, open data option like OpenKit™ could be a welcome solution in an era where developers, including myself, are wary of using third party services for fear support could be discontinued," said Danielle Cassley, who co-founded OpenFeint™ with Jason Citron and Relan, and recently launched her own game Avengees. "Such a solution would ease concerns while sparing developers the time and effort required to build their own proprietary solution."
Like GitHub, pricing will be based on a freemium model, with basic services offered for free, and tiers of services for a monthly subscription fee. Even developers who use the OpenKit™ service for no charge will be able to extract their data and move off the OpenKit™ platform and host their own backend.
Developers interested in the new service can register their interest at www.OpenKit.io and also indicate a priority for which developer services should be built and open sourced first.
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 give 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 www.OpenKit.io.
OpenFeint is a registered trademark of GREE, Inc. Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc. GitHub is a registered trademark of GitHub.