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Future of iOS social networks

10-09-2010, 04:22 PM
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 397
Future of iOS social networks

While I don't blame Apple for not expecting their mobile platforms to do as well as they are now with regards to gaming, it definitely is going to hurt the global community when we have to manage 5-8 different networks. Game Center is nowhere near what it can be in relation to what the other networks currently offer but having that direct competition definitely will help improve it over time.


While nearly everyone enjoys the satisfaction of having achievements to show off to their friends what they've completed, it really has no value to many including myself when my friends show of theirs from other social networks. The sense of accomplishment feels dwindled by the fact that everyone isn't on the same unified system and what achievements you do have feel fractured and disconnected in most ways.

These are obviously my opinions on the matter but all companies currently operating their own social networks should shut them down and slowly migrate to a unified system that is Game Center. Achievements made on these networks over the past year or two should find ways to be applied to Apple's to make the transition a smooth one. Apple won't concede to using other networks as evidence of the release of Game Center shows but at the same time I want Apple continually improving on it and learning what made the other networks content-rich and community-driven. What Apple should be doing is creating a method for current networks to migrate over with little to no hassle.

Game Integrations (voice chat):

The thing that fascinated me the most with Game Center was the ability to integrate voice chat into your games. This has the potential to transform the iOS online community and its games just as the Xbox introduced the first successful online service. This brings me back to the fractured community we have now in regards to social networks. Some of these games including the recent Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus are screaming for voice chat in some form or another. People are praising the game (which is well-deserved at the moment) for what it offers right now but is missing the one thing that drives PC/console shooters to gaming addiction/satisfaction -- communication. It's like trying to play football but the players don't know what play they are executing together -- it just doesn't work. Little things like enabling voice chat when your in a questing group in Pocket Legends or playing a casual game of Angry Birds and would like to open a direct voice channel with a friend on the same network as you while you play. The possibilities are endless and is extremely underutilized at the moment with companies opting not to get on the same social network bandwagon.

Game Center Potential:

If you guys haven't noticed while using Game Center is the ability to run your favorite GC-supported games from within the application. This essentially makes Game Center the gateway door to playing all your games and something I would love to see taken many steps further in integrating iOS games. Imagine all you had to do on your iPhone/iTouch/iPad was only launch Game Center to launch all of your games from one place and having the ability to quickly glance at your achievement score, form 'parties' with friends with voice chat enabled/text chat before heading into your game of choice.

Limiting Factors:

Some things that currently are holding back all of this potential is obviously the phone networks themselves. Although the best experience people can agree on is via Wifi -- what makes our devices unique is the ability to play on the go through 3G and eventually 4G as they become available. Bandwidth may be a huge issue but I hope everyone involved will see the changing landscape of portable lifestyles and adjust accordingly to meet the eventual huge demand.

Then there are the game companies themselves who took the initiative in the early part of the iOS days (which I applaud) to create a social network service akin to those used on consoles and PCs to centralize communities and bring about a greater sense of accomplishment and connectivity with others. The problem is (and my challenge to them all) is to further their initial goal of creating a community by merging into a single, unified community experience with Apple's Game Center. If we can't do this, our iCommunity will forever be fractured with little attachment to the things that we've accomplished over the many networks currently available today.

What do you guys feel about the current state of social gaming on the iDevice and how do you want to see it transform in the future?

GameLoft: xRylinx | GameCenter: Rylin |
Currently playing: Real Racing 3, GT Racing 2, Oceanhorn
Waiting for: N/A
Owner of: iPad 3 64GB, Galaxy Note 3
10-09-2010, 05:01 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: East Coast, USA
Posts: 916
One thing that bothers me about Game Center is that games which use multiplayer but support cross-platform multiplayer can't really use Game Center for it. eg. Homerun Battle

Apps iLove: iBooks, Podcasts, Tweetbot, Reeder, Instapaper, SoundHound, MLS Live
Games iLove: Real Racing 2, Minecraft, Fieldrunners 2, Great Big War Game, FIFA 12
GameCenter: PeterM11