Papaya Mobile Says Bring on the Android Games

Papaya Mobile, already one of Android’s staunchest gaming supporters, is taking its support one step further by releasing a game engine designed to make it easy for developers to build Android (s goog) games. Papaya Game Engine is a free, OpenGL run-time script engine that creates games which can easily hook into Papaya’s mobile social platform.

By leveraging the game engine, developers can work around the existing Android APIs, which are harder to learn for some non-Java (s orcl) developers, and build high-performance games in a scripting language similar to Python or Flash (s adbe). Papaya said developers can build games in as little as a week using the engine and can reduce the time it takes to complete many repetitive tasks involved in programming by up to 50 percent.

Papaya, which boasts 4 million users, is hoping to be a one-stop shop for game development on Android with the new game engine. The company released an SDK, allowing devs to integrate Papaya’s social platform features including avatars, challenges and location-based services. More recently, the Beijing-based company introduced in-app payments through Zong.

Papaya is one of the reasons why Android’s gaming story is improving. With companies such as Rovio, the studio behind Angry Birds, independent app store GetJar and mobile gaming network Aurora Feint ramping up their efforts on Android, it’s helping elevate gaming on Android, something that’s been far behind the iPhone (s aapl) and is now getting serious competition from Windows Phone 7 (s msft). Papaya is pretty smart to target the hot-selling Android device market, and with its focus on social gaming, it’s well positioned to take advantage of the growth of social gaming on smartphones.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (subscription req’d):