Heyzap Launches Their New Cross-Platform Leaderboards Service to Connect iOS and Android Games
With OpenFeint’s servers shutting down very soon, iOS gamers may not miss the service all that much, as many of its features are duplicated in the official Game Center functionality. But Android gamers particularly will: the service was perhaps the most widespread option for leaderboards and achievements, since Android does not have a Game Center equivalent. As well, cross-platform games lose the ability to pit iOS gamers against Android players on their leaderboards. However, one company is pivoting to provide this kind of functionality: Heyzap.
Android users may know Heyzap as a service for game recommendations and social sharing, but now the service is adding leaderboards to its portfolio. Now integrated as part of their SDK, this allows games to let Heyzap users automatically post their high scores to a leaderboard, and to see hwo their friends on Heyzap are doing. Most importantly, these leaderboards will work on both iOS and Android, sharing the same lists across both platforms. Heyzap is shooting to be more about social leaderboards, with the primary display being friends scores, not just the global leaderboards.
This is the key for Heyzap’s service to work: adoption by games developers who work on both platforms. Just on iOS, it’s a bit redundant (and lacks features beyond what Game Center offers), and there’s plenty of services trying to get their start up on Android: Scoreloop is still kicking after their RIM acquisition, and Swarm is trying to be an Android-only social gaming option. However, by being on cross-platform games, particularly with gamers that may own an iOS and an Android device, like an iPhone and a Nexus 7, this kind of exposure will help to get more users. And for developers, having a solution that could be implemented easily across both platforms, and allow them to work through that instead of worrying about implementing different services on each platform.
Where the real benefit for Heyzap comes in is quite simple: expanding their userbase. Yes, they will be providing value with these cross-platform leaderboards. But they will also be gaining users, not just on the Android side, but on the iOS side, with valuable analytics and data to be gathered for their recommendations service. And a desire for tracking high scores could be the trojan horse that gets them in the door.