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OpenFeint's Game Channel Uses The Groupon-Model To Sell Its Mobile Games

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The group-buying model that was pioneered by Groupon has entered the world of mobile gaming and apps. A few months ago Y Combinator-backed TapZilla launched to apply the deal of the day model to paid mobile apps. And today, mobile social gaming platform OpenFeint is joining in with the launch of Game Channel, a group-buying site for mobile gaming apps.

Game Channel lets developers that build games off of the OpenFeint platform to promote their games with daily and weekly deals on games. Specifically, Game Channel’s Fire Sale feature uses a group-buying model to drive downloads for game developers.

Each week, Fire Sale will promote a deal for a premium game, normally priced at $1.99 to $9.99, featured to OpenFeint’s 50 million users. When enough Game Channel users vote to say they want the game, the price of the game drops. OpenFeint says it will send push notifications to voters notifying them that the game is on sale for a limited time.

First up in Fire Sale is Jaws, the official game based on the original summer blockbuster movie, from Bytemark Games. Game Channel will also include Free Game of the Day, which makes one game free for a day.

It was only a matter of time before the group-buying craze extended to the apps and games. But I’m curious if the model will be able to jump start sales on paid games when there so many free games in the mobile app ecosystem. I guess we’ll find out.

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