YouWeb, the incubator that helped form social gaming mainstays Crowdstar and OpenFeint, has been hard at work in private beta launching a new company called Sibblingz. A social iteration of the recent multi-platform phenomenon, Sibblingz will provide developers with an engine that will let them make a game that plays across Facebook, the iPhone, the iPad, and Android. The company has just announced its first major client: Crowdstar’s Happy Island will be going multi-platform.
Originally developed using the Sibblingz engine, the team have demonstrated video of Happy Island running successfully on the iPhone, iPad and Android. While there is no word confirming when we can expect to see Happy Island publically available in the App Store and Android Marketplace, it seems pretty clear that the Sibblingz engine has the potential to be the go-to engine for social game developers looking to spread their wings.
“A solution like Sibblingz can have a dramatic impact on brands and developers looking to build a game that has scale from a cross-platform perspective,” said Michael Cai, Vice President of Video Games at the research firm, Interpret, LLC. “Right now it’s quite expensive to build a game on multiple platforms, and it’s a big hurdle for someone looking to create the next social game phenomena across devices.”
Indeed, the main objective of the Sibblingz engine is to reduce hurdles for developers who wish to go multi-platform. The firm boasts that with their engine “developers will be able to save millions in game development costs and decrease their time to market on launching cross-platform.” Whether or not the Sibblingz engine can be adapted for developers to retrofit their existing social games to the engine remains to be seen.
Despite this possibilities that this new technology generates, the simple fact that the Facebook gaming experience is different from the portable gaming experience can’t be avoided. Such a fact could spell disaster for a company like Sibblingz, but early indications suggest they’ve taken this into account. “Game play on the smart phone and tablet is different from social game play on the PC like Facebook. iDevice gamers want more skill-based mechanics with console-like gaming feel,” said Peter Relan, Executive Chairman of CrowdStar. “By using the Sibblingz engine we can make a game optimized for the iPad that is connected to the same back-end data as the Facebook version. Sibblingz gives us multi-device reach with the flexibility to make a game experience unique to that device.”
“After gamers on social networks have played a cross-platform game that can be used across all devices, they’ll come to expect it from all games,” says Ben Savage, Founder of Sibblingz. “Adding these features to a game after it’s been developed is difficult and expensive. We look forward to anew era where a studio starts a title with Sibblingz, giving the title a great foundation to scale.”
A lot of people have been wondering when Facebook gaming would finally make the leap to mobile devices. If Sibblingz performs as expected, it’s seems to be only a matter of time before we’re checking our crops and helping our friends on whatever device we choose.
Media companies, brands and game developers interested in the Sibblingz platform should contact [email protected] for more information.