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OpenFeint gets SMS invites, timed leaderboards

Social-gaming network now offers a way to recommend a title to others, even if they're not OpenFeint users. There's also a new scoring system that can be filtered by time.

OpenFeint logo

Cross-platform social-gaming network OpenFeint is bringing out on Wednesday a new version of its service with a new invite system and time-based leaderboards.

Gamers running titles with version 2.6 of OpenFeint will be able to share a title they're playing from within the app, just as Apple does via e-mail from within the App Store and as competitor Plus+ does via its internetwork messaging system. New to OpenFeint is a way to send recommended games out as an SMS to a friend. These are sent not from your phone or game device, but from OpenFeint itself, meaning that recommending a game or inviting another player to a match won't dig into monthly SMS allotments.

For now, these notifications, when sent from say an iPhone to an Android user (or vice versa) will spit out a link to either the App Store or the Android Market. A future version of the service will be able to determine which system the user is on and route them to the right place in cases where the same game is on both platforms.

OpenFeint's new invite system
OpenFeint's new invite system OpenFeint

Along with game invites, OpenFeint 2.6 includes a new version of its leaderboard system that tracks player records over time. Users can then filter standings by week, month, or all time.

OpenFeint said it's up to 35 million users, up from 19 million four months ago. Earlier this week competitor Scoreloop, which also offers its social-gaming network on multiple platforms, announced that it is growing at a similar clip, with more than 100,000 new users a day.

Both companies face the same challenge of vying for user attention on the iOS side once Apple rolls out its Game Center network, despite having more features from the get-go.