Apple’s Game Center Scores 67 Million Players

Apple’s Game Center, which allows multiple people in different locations to play games together at the same time, has registered 67 million users since launching only a year ago.

The update was given by Apple’s Scott Forstall today on stage at its event in Cupertino, Calif.

Forstall also outlined new features coming in iOS 5, which will include improvements for the Game Center.

Game Center competes against other social network providers, like OpenFeint, which has an advantage because OpenFeint runs across both iOS and Android devices.

In April, OpenFeint said its gaming platform was reaching 100 million users worldwide after being acquired by Japan-based Gree for $100 million.

For developers, Apple’s Game Center is key because it is the dedicated multi-player platform on Apple devices; however, it’s also limiting because it only allows players to play against friends who also own Apple products. At 67 million players, however, the audience is obviously competitive.

Apple also said today it was adding the ability to discover friends on the game service, among other things.

In the iOS 5 update coming free on Oct. 12, Game Center will be adding turned-based game support, allowing players to play when they want and Game Center will manage each turn for them. Game Center will automatically send the next player a push notification when it is his or her turn and will manage multiple game sessions.

Other developer additions to Game Center include adding players to existing multi-player games, displaying achievement notification banners and support for distinct icons for each leaderboard.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik