Earlier this week we reported that Intel was rumoured to be making a strategic investment in a social mobile gaming company. We speculated on a number of possibilities, but as Occam’s razor has taught us, the most obvious choice is usually the correct one. Aurora Feint, the company behind the OpenFeint gaming network, announced this morning that they’ve closed a recent round of funding with an investment from Intel Capital.
“Over the past few years, interest in mobile gaming has exploded, creating a huge market opportunity to deliver these games to the one billion plus mobile device users worldwide,” said Mike Buckley, managing director of Intel Capital. “OpenFeint’s momentum and established user base have positioned OpenFeint as the mobile social gaming platform preferred by developers and publishers. With this investment, Intel Capital is investing in a robust ecosystem of gaming content that we hope to help Aurora Feint scale globally.”
“Globally” is an interesting word for Aurora Feint. Previously the company has seen investment from DeNA, the Japanese company whose X-border X-device strategy is intent on “bringing battery-draining, addictive social game experiences to consumers worldwide,” according to their CEO Tomoko Namba. Could Intel’s investment be what’s needed to help spread OpenFeint beyond its western roots?
According to Aurora Feint CEO Jason Citron, it will certainly help them expand to new mobile platforms: “Mobile games are an integral part of any viable mobile platform, and this investment from Intel Capital will help us expand our cross platform efforts to help bring great gaming content, discovery and community to every mobile device. We’re thrilled to have Intel Inside.”
If the claims above are any indication, Aurora Feint’s future plans seem to be all about growth – both across devices and borders. With more than 45 million gamers using the service so far, it should be interesting to see how quickly that number will grow when the OpenFeint network is introduced to these potential new markets in the future. I just wonder which new device they’ll aim to be on first.