Gree to close OpenFeint next month, player data and game information will be lost

Gree is planning to close down its mobile social games network OpenFeint on December 14, only eighteen months after it acquired the company and service for $104 million.

All player data and game information will be lost after the shutdown date, and Gree is encouraging developers to update their titles and move them on to the Gree mobile platform instead. The company claims that basic SDK integration should take less than a week of work, but developers who’ve released games on iPad won’t be able to transfer their titles as no tablet-optimised SDK has yet been made available. There is no information as to when this might change, or indeed, if it will happen before the cut-off date.

It’s remarkably short notice, especially in the lead up to Christmas when many new phone activations will be taking place. Gree may have its work cut out convincing developers to stick with its own platform after the way it’s handled this situation.

“Ideally, [Gree] should have provided much longer notice,” Hiptic Games’ George Deglin, whose company created iOS game GoNinja, told Gamesbeat. “It can’t take that much effort to keep a server running, and the cost would be worth preventing the loss of developer trust. If they gave us more time, then I think we definitely would consider moving to the Gree platform – especially if it starts looking more promising. I’m sure other developers feel the same way. As it stands now, we don’t want anything to do with Gree anymore.”

As highlighted by Deglin, Gree assured developers that it would maintain the OpenFeint servers until “at least Q3 2013″ in June this year – it has now revised its FAQ to read December 14, 2012.