Zynga’s Mafia Wars hits Android in two new ways

by Kristen Nicole

Over 4 million users have downloaded at least one app from the Android Market, giving Google (GOOG) quite a boost for its mobile platform. With games topping the most popular apps category, you can be sure a good chunk of those 4 million users have several games on their Android device. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in Android’s gaming industry.

Zynga Mafia Wars

First up we have some big news from Zynga, with its first Android access for the promised Mafia Wars. You won’t find it in the Market just yet, but GetJar’s gaming platform has offered a handy loophole for fans. You can also play Mafia Wars directly through a browser, with Zynga launching an optimized HTML5 format version of the game.

Other platform news

In other platform news, we have Yo Yo Games support heading to Android, for their popular Game Maker software. What Game Maker does is enable developers to easily create games, enticing beginners into this industry. With a Lite and Pro option, you have some variety around the games you can create with this tool.

On another side of the spectrum, we have OpenFeint taking cues from Groupon. The gaming platform is incorporating group buying, social promotions into its feature set. This program lets gamers buy games for a fraction of the retail price, and encourages social interaction around the games.

OpenFeint has been pushing the envelope when it comes to mobile gaming, and this is yet another instance in which a new method of activity is being wrapped around the burgeoning mobile industry. It will be a hoot for cross-promotion initiatives, leveraging several aspects of mobile gaming capabilities around sharing, purchasing and marketing.