Kara Swisher

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SCVNGR Goes Global (Sort Of!)

BoomTown likes the sassiness of SCVNGR, the location-based service that’s not Foursquare, including the rank enthusiasm of its founder, Seth Priebatsch, to do whatever it takes to stand out in the competitive space.

Today, it is by “leveraging the most comprehensive places database in the world–the Google Places API,” which will essentially take the start-up global.

It’s part of a lot of moves by the Cambridge, Mass.-based SCVNGR, which tries to go beyond simple check-ins by emphasizing the game aspect and posing real-world challenges for users to complete.

Recently, hunting for ways to keep pace in the fast-moving social location space, the start-up released revamped versions of its Apple iPhone and Google Android apps.

And, earlier this summer, SCVNGR was one of the first to integrate with Facebook Places.

I did a video interview with Priebatsch a few months ago at SCNVGR’s office, which you can see below, as well as the official press release for the Google Places integration (nice Klingon joke!):

SCVNGR Goes Global
Willkommen! Bienvenue! Yokoso!

Boston–November 2, 2010–“Hello World!”

That’s the badge SCVNGR users unlock after checking-in for the first time on SCVNGR. And today we’re excited that anyone in the world can start unlocking it. Because today we’re going global!

Hot on the heels of our update for iPhone and Android, and having just broken the half-million user number in record time, we’re making sure that everyone everywhere can play SCVNGR. SCVNGR is a real-world game played via iPhone and Android apps. It’s a social game all about going places, checking-in and completing challenges and earning points. You can unlock badges and real-world rewards (think free coffee, discounts and more!) and easily share where you are and what you’re up to with your friends on SCVNGR, Facebook and Twitter. It’s very social, very fun and as competitive as you want it to be.

Today this mobile social game is going live all across the world by leveraging the most comprehensive places database in the world–the Google Places API. This integration will instantly bring SCVNGR right to your fingertips at millions of locations across the globe so you can check-in, snap pics, do the social check-in, complete and build challenges, unlock badges and rewards and most of all, have fun!

“Our goal has always been to build the game layer on top of the world. But until today, we were missing a critical component…the rest of the world,” said Seth Priebatsch, SCVNGR’s Chief Ninja. “We’re excited to go live globally today, and to do so with the best location database on the planet.”

SCVNGR’s default interface will be presented in English but the content that players can create (the custom challenges to try at each place) can be added in any native language. SCVNGR adapts itself naturally to different places by enabling everyone who plays the game to also have the opportunity to build the game by creating their own fun things to do (we call them “challenges”) at each place. So get excited to start seeing challenges in German, French, Japanese, Chinese and maybe even Klingon! (Disclaimer: Probably not Klingon.)

So hello world and welcome to SCVNGR! Just grab the free app for iPhone and Android and start playing!

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