A new service called Nextpeer has just become available for any iOS developer wishing to add multiplayer features to their single player game. Typically, when a mobile game developer wants social or multiplayer elements in its games - leaderboards, achievements, tournaments, etc. - it has to build them itself. Nextpeer eliminates this hassle by offering a free SDK that can bring these features and more into any game that uses it.
With the service integrated into a game, developers can easily add some useful components to keep players engaged and bring them back again and again. Nextpeer offers achievements, timed tournaments, ranking systems, and "bets" on virtual gold that developers can customize without actually affecting the core gameplay. The developer just adds the SDK to a game - whether its a shooter, a puzzler, or any other genre - and the game quickly has a set of social tools for players to have fun with. A user simply plays the game as they usually would but will receive notices occasionally about achievements they've unlocked or their current place in a tournament (e.g. "You're X points behind the top player!") This way, players are given a greater sense of urgency when playing, since they aren't just mindlessly playing a game so much as competing against other people. Nextpeer also offers a GameHub app that tracks players' scores and promotes other games using the service.
During a private beta period that started in August, Nextpeer signed up over 250 developers for the service, integrating the SDK into seven titles so far, with 40 more in the works. The company has already seen positive results from games using the service, with 30% of users going back to use the features after three or more days and 10% using the in-game component that suggests other Nextpeer-enabled games for them to download. The company expects to have one to two new games with the service released each week in the future.
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