2012-05-10 13h26_02

In a continued attempt to make Android more viable as an entertainment platform, Google is working on a social gaming app in the same vein as Apple's Game Center, if Business Insider's sources are to be believed. The app would be a huge boon for social gaming on Android. As the platform grows, and gaming along with it, Google risks losing a golden opportunity to be even more deeply embedded within one of the biggest growth markets in mobile.

The usual features are expected: social achievements, awards/trophies, and player leaderboards. What's unclear is whether or not Google will try to integrate Plus into the mix. If we learned anything from Facebook and Farmville, it's that gaming can be a huge boost to a social network's user base. The question is, will casual gamers prefer to be identified by their real names or will they insist on a pseudonym? If being on the leaderboard for Angry Birds meant that everyone who's ever played the game (read: hundreds of millions of people) can see your photos, location, or any other data you share on G+, it might make gamers uncomfortable.

Either way, though, Google has a pressing need to get more involved in gaming. A social game center would be a huge step in the right direction towards that goal.

Source: Business Insider

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Havoc70

    Yeah! no more OpenFeint crap hopefully

  • Paixao Carlo

    I dont think the question AP proceed. People will not get theirs privacy void - Everyone who visit theirs G+ page will see only the content you set as "Public". Whats up with that?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That wasn't the point - it was the mapping between the person you're playing with and their real-life profile that could be undesired. I welcome that though, just like I welcome G+ and the "realer" conversations that happen there.

  • Alexander Rojas

    What I want to see is Nintendo make pokemon games, FF games, and etc

    • fixxmyhead

      haha yea i use to be a big gamer back in the days not anymore i never got to the ps3. somewhere along something inside me died and just didnt have that will to play anymore. i tried getting back a little with pokemon diamond and pearl but that was the last time i played. FF10 was a badass game though. i really dont see whats so fun about MW3,skyrim,call of duty, gears or war,etc. just doesnt appeal to me anymore. i know im that 1% of guys that isnt in on this gamer thing anymore

  • David

    How's about Google starts coming up with their own ideas.  Don't get me wrong, they need this, but lately it seems like everything they do is just playing catch-up instead of actually innovating.  We don't need two identical versions of everything.  Make something that actually sets you apart and let the consumers decide.

    • James Freeman

      Project Glass?

      • sssgadget

        @David should have said "Google come up with own ideas for Android". 

        @James Freeman - Project glass is all Google and no Android.

    • Sven Enterlein

      I was thinking exactly the same. It seems that Google lately is trying to do a lot of catching up. I'm afraid that in many instances they might already be too late :(

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        If you read the critics, everybody is "playing catchup" with everybody else.

        Apple is trying to catch up over features like NFC, Maps/Navigation, Interface Customization and Widgets (trust me, at least 3 of those are going to be covered in iOS 6).Google is playing catch up on Design Language (the OS and even Google's own apps aren't consistent), a Game Center / XBox Live feature, performance optimizations, and cloud solutions (they are slightly behind Skydrive and iCloud).Microsoft is playing catch up on...uhh...I don't feel like typing out all of it...Let's just say, Metro is actually really nice to use, XBox Live is better than Game Center, and Development for Windows Phone is vastly superior to iOS and Android.  They need to catch up on EVERYTHING else.

        Ok, not an exhaustive list, but it's just there to illustrate a point.  When most real people are looking at buying a smartphone, they aren't discussing the processor technology or if the screen is pentile; they are discussing how easy the phone is to use, how it looks physically, and what features it has.  In theory, Casual and Social Gamers aren't as likely to choose Android because they won't have XBox Live or Game Center to choose from.  That's the push, this isn't an issue of everybody copying everybody else's features, it's about telling customers that you have all of the features they are looking for.  Besides, unlike Apple and Microsoft, Google will almost certainly use the data to further fine-tune how they advertise to you ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1118622192 Edward Germanotta

    Why take so much? This is a must have for Google is they wanna be a multimedia platfform with the playstore. We really need a place where save all our progress games inside android without root or anything else.

  • Gordon Freeman

    Save Game Cloud Storage based FTW! Please!!! 

  • storm14k

    Your G+ info is.generally only shown to the circles you share it to. You have to make it public for everyone to see it.

  • ElfirBFG

    If you post something publicly, others will see it. Swipe to the far right and you can see public posts from people nearby, I fail to see how this would be any more invasive. You choose the privacy settings before posting, if you choose public, know that the post is public and that of course means that anyone can see it.

    • Paul Werner

      Yea, I think AP forgot how G+ works there for a minute. This article should be revised as to not throw off people that don't know already or haven't used G+ yet

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        No one forgot. Google+, like Facebook, is a semi-public, semi-private social network. You have the tools to protect your info, but plenty of people either don't do it, don't know how to, or don't realize just how much info is being shared. And even if you go to the trouble of ensuring absolutely nothing but your name is visible to anyone that you haven't given access to, you are at least tying your real name to your gaming account/leaderboards. This is a serious thing that Google and its users need to consider.

        It doesn't mean Google is responsible for "leaking" your info (nor do you find anywhere that I say this is the case), but it could mean that this system would have fewer users. I, personally, think Google+ is far better at security and privacy than Facebook, but that doesn't mean that everyone will magically be comfortable with it.

        • Jasonc07

          But you did say,
          "If being on the leaderboard for Angry Birds meant that everyone who's ever played the game (read: hundreds of millions of people) can see your photos, location, or any other data you share on G+, it might make gamers uncomfortable."
          Which is an interesting statement to make if you know that doing this will not mean "that everyone who's ever played the game (read: hundreds of millions of people) can see your photos, location, or any other data you share on G+,"

          You are doing exactly what Paul Werner said and misleading people about what G+ can and can not do. Considering this site is about a google product you would think you would be more willing to correct something misleading about another Google product.

  • Mental_Moose

    I love this, being a huge fan of PSN, XBOX Live, Steam and the likes.
    Android getting a standard gaming profile of it's own can be great.
    But: The single most important feature lacking for Android gaming is saves syncing (not just backed up) between devices. I know it's possible now, but not without root and not automatic and elegant. Also; not without problems for some games.
    This *must* be included.

    Ohhh. And achievements. Lots of them. I'm a whore for them. 

  • Frill Artist

    "social gaming" is for old women and stay at home moms.

  • tBs_Battousai

    Think I'd rather have better games such as monkey island or command and conquer like iOS has, shame the big companies don't see any profit from developing for Android...