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Game platforms take over Android OS: GetJar, Zynga and beyond

by Kristen Nicole

GetJar gets a full tank

The Mobile World Congress event is still going on in Barcelona, but that doesn’t mean there’s not any room for some fun and games. Game platform and distributor GetJar announced it has raised $25 million in funding today, making some significant funds available for the expansion of its independent Android game market. GetJar plans to use the money to expand sales, marketing and engineering efforts, seeking growth for a marketplace that’s seen over 1 billion downloads to date.

GetJar’s been riding the coattails of Android’s own success, which has seen booming sales worldwide. Mobile games have been among the fastest growing app categories, exciting a sub-market all its own. Advertising through games and game networks has been a rapidly branching business, and have been encouraging the potential behind Google’s (GOOG) Android’s platform, and the mobile economy at large.

Zynga’s Words with Friends

Zynga knows this all too well, as it deepens its penetration of the Android market with another official game release, Words With Friends. Announced earlier this month, Zynga’s second major game launch marks another notch in the game publisher’s belt. Zynga, which was valued at $7 billion yesterday, has already taken over the Facebook platform as well as iOS. Android’s the next big target, and Zynga will likely prevail, despite its slow start.

Turn your contacts into characters

Google’s even gotten in the spirit of the MWC, launching a game of its own. Androidify is an entertaining little app where you customize your “Android” robot character any way you see fit. Give them spiky hair, a polka dot shirt, some glasses and cool shoes. Not to worry -- these personalized Androids look more like humans than little green monsters. You can share them with friends, or save them as a contact image in your address book.