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RIM enters social gaming app scene with Scoreloop acquisition

by Morgan Phelps

Ever behind in the app race, BlackBerry purveyor Research in Motion (RIMM) has taken a much-needed step to throw itself into the social game space by acquiring Scoreloop, which aids mobile game developers in adding social and in-app billing features to their games. An indication of RIM’s lacking presence in this area can be seen by the fact that Scoreloop did not offer a BlackBerry version of its software development kit prior to the announcement, according to Mashable.

Scoreloop, which works on both the Android and iOS platforms, plans to move forward with its “cross platform approach,” but will focus on offering an “unparalleled” BlackBerry solution, which may involve incorporating the social features of the Scoreloop SDK directly into the BBM Social Platform. The platform announced earlier this year allows developers to incorporate RIM’s native messaging services into other apps on the device.

Tyler Lessard, RIM’s vice president of global alliances and developer relations, confirmed the company’s efforts to make its apps more social in a blog post. The move is much needed for RIM as Nielsen has found that the BlackBerry OS market share has steadily declined when compared with iOS and Android since June of last year, prior to the launch of the first notable group messaging app. Mashable said that one of the primary reasons BlackBerry is falling behind is because of its lack of apps, as Apple (AAPL) has had 20 times the number of downloads as RIM.

RIM still has a lot of ground to cover to compete with Google’s (GOOG) and Apple's robust app markets for their mobile devices. However, the purchase of Scoreloop is definitely setting the company on the right path as it seeks to move beyond touting basic features, security and corporate friendliness to become a major player in the mobile app market.