Game makers promise Free App a Day starting in January

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A group of developers plans to launch, a Website that will offer paid iPhone programs for free for 24 hours. The program, which kicks off next week, results from the efforts of developer ICS Mobile; OpenFeint, the leading iDevice social gaming network; Tapjoy, a mobile advertising and promotion firm; and Blacksmith Games. You may remember Blacksmith as the organizer behind last month’s holiday-themed Appvent Calendar event, which also gave iPhone and iPod touch users the chance to download free games.

This time around, the fun will kick off on January 18 and will feature apps both small and large in one centralized location. The idea, the organizers say, is to make it easier for gamers to find apps they’ll enjoy by highlighting the kind of games people might not otherwise find on their own.

There’s a benefit for game makers, too. The added exposure of obscure applications will help lesser-known developers get coverage for their efforts. Joe Bayen, CEO of ICS Mobile, reports that Navy Patrol Coastal Defense got a boost of more than 100,000 downloads over the Christmas break thanks to its promotion through the Appvent Calendar.

It remains to be seen what companies will be participating in Free App A Day, but one can hope that even the big-name developers will want to get their games in more hands, regardless of the cost.

While developers are excited about getting their games promoted, it’s gamers who have the most to gain here. Every day, you can download a paid app with no cost to you. The games are filtered by quality, ensuring you’re more likely to stumble upon a real gem than you would by just randomly searching for games.

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