GREE, the largest social network in Japan, is coming to Europe and has just launched in Open Beta mode for developers to get a taste of what it can offer. The service, when fully live, will allow iOS and Android gamers to interact online, and be a worldwide community for mobile gamers.
It's a bit like Apple's Game Center, but cross-platform and run by an independent company. It promises a greater variety of social interaction features too.
Game application developers are now urged to download the new platform SDK (3.0.0ß) and build into their software the social tools required to work on the network. It also takes into account the OpenFeint infrastructure the company acquired in the past year.
When launched for the consumer, GREE will have more than 60 compatible games available to download and play. It will be accessible in English and Japanese, with 14 other languages to follow. It currently has a user base of 230 million gamers, but that is expected to rise rapidly.
There's no indication as to when the final version will be available to iPhone and Android smartphone users, but the second wave of languages is scheduled for September, so the initial launch will be before then.
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