Social network for gamers helps friends play

July 22, 2009 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Raptr, a social network targeting gamers, is hoping to make it easier to see what your friends are currently playing on a broad range of platforms such as the Xbox 360 and personal computers.

And if you want, you can join them in the action.

On Wednesday, Raptr launched new software that integrates various instant-messaging services, as well as and , and automatically updates users' status with the games they are currently playing.

It recognizes about 32,000 games, including hardcore titles like "Halo 3," music games like "Guitar Hero" and social games such as Zynga's "YoVille" on Facebook.

And if your friend is in the midst of a multiplayer game, you can join in, provided you've installed Raptr on your computer, for free.

"Most people prefer to play with friends, ... but finding friends and playing with them is hard," CEO and founder Dennis Fong said. "Your friends are everywhere, and they play games on a lot of different platforms."

Raptr is expanding its service as more people play video games online and social networks proliferate in use. Combining the two, Raptr is like a Facebook for gamers.

Using the service, PC gamers can chat with users of Microsoft Corp.'s , though Raptr does not yet support the other gaming consoles, Sony Corp.'s and Nintendo Co.'s .

The Mountain, Calif.-based startup also signed deals with two major video game publishers to bundle its service with upcoming titles, which will expose its service to many more gamers.

No money changed hands, Fong said, between Raptr and the companies, THQ Inc. and Activision Blizzard Inc.

Raptr isn't the first gaming venture for Fong, a former professional video gaming champion. In 2006, he sold Xfire to Viacom Inc. for $102 million. Incidentally, Xfire is similar to Raptr in that it helps gamers keep track of people playing PC games, but it's targeted at hardcore gamers who play titles like "World of Warcraft," "Counter-Strike" and "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Leveling the gaming field

Related Stories

Leveling the gaming field

May 13, 2008

A new computer game developed by MIT and Singaporean students makes it possible for visually impaired people to play the game on a level field with their sighted friends.

Verizon gaming services bust stereotypes

February 4, 2006

The classic stereotype of the antisocial video gamer alone in his basement is due for a renovation. Though there are more gamers than ever before, they are managing to find each other, through multi-player online games.

Lycos gets into online gaming

March 10, 2006

Internet search giant Lycos entered the online gaming war this week with the launch of its Lycos Games service.

'Halo 3' Beta Test Gets off to Rough Start

May 18, 2007

Microsoft Corp.'s public test of its upcoming "Halo 3" video game got off to a rocky start on Wednesday after many users found they were unable to try out the science fiction-themed shooter.

Recommended for you

Volvo to supply Uber with self-driving cars (Update)

November 20, 2017

Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars said Monday it has signed an agreement to supply "tens of thousands" of self-driving cars to Uber, as the ride-sharing company battles a number of different controversies.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.