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OpenFeint bringing 3 million players to Android per month

by Phil Hornshaw

Analysis data continues to show that app developers make less money on Android than they do on iOS when it comes to games, but social gaming service OpenFeint isn’t sitting still for that conclusion.

OpenFeint has been actively working to bring more players to Android games, and it seems to be working: the company reports it is adding players to its Android network at the rate of 3 million per month, according to a story from Pocket Gamer. OpenFeint also says it has increased the roster of games supported by its service – which provides online friends lists and leaderboards, as well as achievements – to more than 460 titles, including 16 more that are coming in the near future.

The increase in Android players seems to suggest that what OpenFeint is doing is working. The service is already pretty successful on Apple’s (AAPL) iOS platform, and gaining a lot of traction on Android. The trouble with Google’s (GOOG) operating system is that it’s a lot harder to develop for because of “fragmentation,” the fact that different versions of Android are in use on lots of different Android devices. So making a game for Android means making it compatible with lots of slightly different devices and software platforms, whereas a developer making a game for iOS devices are pretty much set after making just one version (although this is increasingly no longer the case).

But OpenFeint has been trying to encourage developers to bring their games Android, and even partnered with Chinese gaming company The9 to create a $100 million fund that helps game makers develop their iOS games for Android. It seems OpenFeint recognizes the major potential of Android in games as the platform expands all over the world: OpenFeint is expanding into China through another partnership with The9, and was recently acquired by Japanese social gaming company GREE, bringing it into line with a lot more players across Asia.

And in the last two months of its work on Android, OpenFeint has made some really sharp progress. The network increased its roster of games by 145 during that time, according to Pocket Gamer – a jump of 46 percent in just two months.

Men spend 9 times more on games than women

OpenFeint recognizes there’s money to be made in mobile games, and it appears the people to make that money from are men, according to another story from Pocket Gamer.

Mobile gaming portal MocoSpace has published some interesting survey numbers that show that the number of gamers on mobile platforms are pretty evenly split between men and women, and that those gamers spend about an equal amount of time playing – 21 minutes per day for men, 19 minutes per day for women.

But when it comes to the willingness to spend money through in-app purchases and “micro transactions,” through which players can purchase in-game content using real money, the numbers start to shift. Sixty-nine percent of male gamers spend money while playing games, compared to 31 percent of women.

But here’s the kicker: Men are outspending women on in-game purchases by $9 to $1. That’s a pretty insane margin, and it’ll likely start to color the way that developers create in-game content for sale. If nearly 30 percent of players are women but they’re spending substantially less money than men, developers will want to come up with ways to try to even things out a bit and get more players interested in spending to enhance their gaming experience.