OpenFeint To Launch Android Game Network; Raises $4 Million

AuroraFeint, creator of OpenFeint, has raised an additional $4 million in capital from The9, a Chinese online gaming company, to help expand its popular social gaming network from the iPhone to the Android operating system.

The Burlingame, Calif.-based company said it will duplicate its iPhone network, which includes 9,200 members who can chat and connect with thousands of game titles, for Android this summer. OpenFeint’s decision to develop for Android will both help to validate the platform while also helping to fill some gaps in the application retail experience that has prevented game companies from adopting the platform.

The company said the platform they are building for Android will be similar to the one for the iPhone. It will come with a developer kit that enables both the discovery of new games and also mobile payments — both of those have been high on Android developers’ list of complaints.

Already, it has a number of brand-name publishers signed up, including Astraware, Digital Chocolate, Glu Mobile (NSDQ: GLUU), Hudson Soft, as well as, independent studios like Distinct Dev (Moron Test), ustwo (Dot Dot Dot), Pik Pok (Flick Kick Football) and RocketCat Games (Hook Champ). Jonathan Goldberg, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Equity Research, was quoted in a press release, as saying: “This is a big step for OpenFeint and an even bigger step for Android as it becomes a serious mobile gaming platform. OpenFeint ushered in mobile online gaming for iOS devices and we think they