PlayPhone, a mobile social gaming platform, has partnered with Verizon Wireless to build an Android-based gaming network called Games Portal. Through Games Portal, Verizon users will be able to connect with their friends, play social games and find new games regardless of the device they're using. With PlayPhone as the structural backbone, the casual games, such as Blackjack Live and Magic Marbles, will work across platforms.
Game developers will be able to connect to Verizon's Games Portal using the existing PlayPhone software development kit, adding their game to the global network and boosting social gameplay capabilities and global distribution. In-app purchases can also be billed directly through Verizon, increasing the ease of use and eliminating third-party billing platforms.
Verizon's Games Portal enters the market alongside services such as Apple's Game Center and GREE, which purchased the popular OpenFeint in 2011. Unlike Game Center, Games Portal will allow both Android and iOS users to play together, and premiere placement on Verizon devices may give this service an advantage over GREE.
Games Portal will start appearing on Verizon Android devices in the second quarter of this year. But the SDK is currently available for developers who want to get a head start and claim their own gaming real estate.