Yahoo lures third-party developers with Games Network

Yahoo Games Network touts claimed audience of 800 million for game-makers

Yahoo is trying to lure third-party mobile and Web game developers with the launch of a back-end development platform.

Yahoo Games Network puts Yahoo's claimed 800 million users, including 400 million on mobile devices, in reach of game developers. It includes services that can help monetize games and share them across social networks.

The site will also provide "ongoing operational support for growth," Yahoo Games leader Jesper Jensen, former CEO of PlayerScale, wrote in a post.

The developer services on Yahoo Games Network include PlayerInsight, which provides stats such as the number of active users and revenue generated by a particular game. Another feature, Sitebox, lets users create Facebook apps, while Achievements tracks player awards and milestones.

The site offers an SDK (software development kit) with client libraries for Android and iOS.

Yahoo Games is working with developers such as Namco Bandai America, SGN and Rumble Entertainment, Jensen said, adding the network features to games like Yahoo Poker, Kings Road and Dead Zone.

Jensen also announced a revamped Yahoo Classic Games site featuring popular games that can be played on the Web or Android and iOS devices. He said the site has a "beautiful, elegant and easy-to-use design that plays seamlessly."

The launch of Yahoo Games Network follows the search engine's acquisition last year of PlayerScale, an infrastructure support company founded in 2011 that helped developers spread their games across platforms.

Earlier this week, Google Play Game Services expanded multiplayer turn-based games to iOS, as Google Play described in a blog post .

Yahoo has been acquiring companies since Marissa Mayer joined as CEO in 2012, including the high-profile purchase of blogging service Tumblr last May, the month it also picked up mobile gaming company Loki Studios, known for its location-aware game Geomon.

In January, it acquired Cloud Party, a gaming company specializing in virtual worlds and multiplayer gaming with avatars.

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Tim Hornyak

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