Mobile gaming binge continues; Intel, The9 invest $8 million in Aurora Feint
A day after Electronic Arts announced it bought iPhone game publisher Chillingo, Intel Capital and Chinese online gaming company The9 said they have invested a combined $8 million in Aurora Feint Inc., a company in Burlingame, Calif., that helps players find friends, explore new games and post achievements.
Aurora Feint compares its mobile social gaming service to Microsoft's Xbox Live, but for games played on Apple's iPhones and iPads, as well as cell phones and tablets that run Google's Android operating system. The company has more than 3,400 games played by more than 45 million people in its service, called OpenFeint.
“Over the past few years, interest in mobile gaming has exploded, creating a huge market opportunity to deliver these games to the one billion plus mobile device users worldwide,” Mike Buckley, managing director of Intel Capital, said in a statement. Intel Capital is the venture investment arm of Intel Corp., the Santa Clara, Calif., semiconductor company.
It's not just Intel that's interested in Aurora Feint. DeNA Co., a Japanese company that last week paid up to $400 million in cash to buy Ngmoco Inc., also invested an undisclosed sum for a 20% stake in Aurora Feint a year ago. Ngmoco's Plus+ network is considered a rival to OpenFeint.
-- Alex Pham