Playphone, which develops a third-party social game store for Android, has a new partner in Cyanogen. The company’s app will soon be included on Cyanogen OS phones in developing markets where mobile games may not have as high penetration as they do in Western countries.
Aside from distributing many of the same games you can already find in the Google Play store, Playphone also offers a “Social Gaming Network” through which gamers from any of multiple platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and more can compete against each other in games without having to be on the same platform. Playphone’s store may not be an app you’re familiar with, but it has been repackaged for some Verizon phones as Games Portal, and is also on some phones in Brazil.
The company spent a lot of time in its press release emphasizing its new focus on emerging markets:
“Playphone is excited to partner with Cyanogen, whose leading commercial OS in emerging markets offers a massive distribution opportunity for game developers,” said Ron Czerny, CEO and Founder of Playphone. “Game developers can easily realize significant added revenue from their existing Android game by adding it to the Playphone Game Store.”
The release doesn’t specify in which markets Playphone will be included on Cyanogen phones, but with the emphasis on emerging markets we can expect to see it in places like South America and certain parts of Asia.
Cyanogen diehards will be glad to know that this does not affect the main open source CyanogenMod version of the operating system.
For the uninitiated, Cyanogen is a mobile OS built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) meaning that it’s the Android you may be familiar with, but with Cyanogen’s own tweaks and improvements to the “vanilla” Android experience—and none of Google’s official apps. Cyanogen monetizes the development of its OS by creating a spin-off commercial version, called Cyanogen OS, where it partners with different companies for services like mapping applications, packages it all up, and then sells it to an increasing number of OEMs including OnePlus and Oppo who preinstall it on their devices as the main OS.
Cyanogen competes in places where Google isn’t very well established or is blocked, and places in general where people are perhaps getting online for the first time through a smartphone. Playphone is one more building block in creating a defensible, long-lasting business for the operating system developer.