Now that Game Center is gorgeous, what’s next?

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Kevin Ford

June 14th, 2013

The 2013 WWDC keynote was a refreshing change for iOS developers and users alike. New productsand features were released that will make the experience of owning an iOS device even better. For game developers however, many of the updates were purely aesthetic. While it’s great the green felt is gone, little has changed with Game Center since it originally launched in 2007, which raises the question, is this enough to keep the Game Center relevant or does the failure of other social platforms like OpenFeint signal a larger downward trend in social gaming networks? We took to the NativeX Games Task Force to explain.

The NativeX Games Task Force provides highly specialized one-on-one consultation to NativeX partners, helping them turn their mobile games into successful businesses.

Game-Center-iOS-7

Now that Game Center is gorgeous, what’s next?

gtf-1 Nate Dykstra

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
First and foremost, it’s nice to see Apple giving some much needed attention to Game Center with the iOS 7 update. It’s been a long time coming. The redesign is a nice touch and definitely much more aesthetically pleasing than the stale green felt. Another big benefit for players and developers both is the addition of secure Game Center scores which will hopefully prevent or limit the hacking of leaderboards which is currently a rampant problem with one of the main Game Center features. Unfortunately beyond that, I don’t see the iOS 7 version of Game Center changing much as most of the feature set seems to have remained the same. However, I am hopeful that this aesthetic redesign is a sign of more attention and improvements to come.

 

gtf-2 Ben Sipe

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
While it does look better, I would love the ability to customize the color scheme because I’m not too fond of the giant pink bubble in front. Aesthetics aside, there is room for improvement. I really like the video sharing of EveryPlay and I think that’s the next big thing in social sharing. There’s also no tournament functionality in Game Center, but would be a natural fit alongside challenges. Implement these two features and I think you’d have a really strong social play.

 

gtf-4 Chris Harris

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
Game Center has failed to place any meaningful features to their social platform other than the recent addition of challenges. Although, most challenges tend to be irrelevant to users because they are from games they don’t have. The point system does not add much relevancy and the leaderboards can be hacked easily by most. It is fairly clear that Game Center is not on Apple’s priority list of product updates. Apple changing the aesthetics of Game Center is the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig.

 

gtf-3 Trevor McCalmont

Games Analyst, NativeX Games Task Force
Game Center is a nice product for Apple to offer, but it doesn’t generate any revenue. Game Center will continue to be #1 in Social Gaming (because I need a way to taunt my friends with my awesome scores), but its current functionality works fine. I don’t see any overhaul, and I think Apple will continue to focus on hardware.
I don’t see this as a trend or signal regarding social platforms. Game Center will always be relevant since it comes by default on all Apple devices and it actually serves its purpose (I’m looking at you Apple Maps), but these platforms have been struggling for a long time.

 

Have a question for the NativeX Games Task Force? Submit it here, or follow them on Twitter.

Kevin Ford

Marketing Manager

2013-06-14

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