Thursday, April 21, 2011, 11:50 pm PT (02:50 am ET)
Apple releases iBooks 1.2.2; GREE acquires OpenFeint social gaming platformApple on Thursday released a minor update to its iBooks e-book app, while Japanese gaming company GREE announced the purchase of the iOS social gaming platform OpenFeint.
Apple quietly released iBooks 1.2.2 on the App Store Thursday.
The 14.9MB download includes a number of important stability and performance improvements, including:
- Addresses issues playing video included with enhanced books from the iBookstore.
- Resolves a problem where some books open with a different font than expected.
- Makes iBooks more responsive when navigating books with many items in their table of contents.
The last major update to iBooks came in December 2010. iBooks 1.2 added fully illustrated books, personal Collections and PDF and notes printing using AirPrint.
Apple launched the iBookstore alongside the iPad in April last year in hopes of establishing the tablet as a viable e-reader.
GREE and OpenFeint jointly announced the acquisition, which cost $104 million plus unspecified additional capital for OpenFeint's growth, in a press release on Thursday. All told, the combined gaming ecosystem will reach 100 million users worldwide.
"At GREE, we are socializing the next evolution of games and, as the best-in-class US-based mobile social network, OpenFeint is the ideal partner for us to offer the best mobile social games to the largest global audience, said Yoshikazu Tanaka, founder and CEO of GREE.
OpenFeint was founded as an independent gaming studio named Aurora Feint in 2008. Originally focused on the App Store, the company developed a social gaming platform for iOS that has found its way into over 5,000 games. OpenFeint has since expanded to the Android platform, where it has added over 200 Android games to its network.
GREE's purchase of OpenFeint represents the first expansion by the company outside of Japan. According to the release, CEO and founder Jason Citron and team will remain on board with "long-term incentives."
Japanese game developer and GREE rival DeNA purchased a 20 percent stake in Aurora Feint in 2009.
For its part, Apple released its own social gaming network Game Center last year. Similar to OpenFeint, Game Center offers leaderboards and achievements. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Apple had poached prominent gaming industry marketing executives from Nintendo and Activision.
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