Google Plus Source Code Hints at Social Games Future for the Platform
We’re still not sure what form Google’s social games will take, but source code from the new social network points to an integration with games that resembles Facebook’s current model for social games.
A line of code taken by an Engadget tipster reads “have sent you Game invites and more from Google+ Games.” It’s not really a shocker considering that Google was actively acquiring game developers like Slide and SocialDeck last year and has been recruiting for positions on a gaming team. The company also has a form page for developers interested in Google+ as a platform.
While Slide co-founder Max Levchin scored a VP of engineering role at Google after his company was acquired last summer, it’s our understanding that the company’s former employees operate largely autonomously within Google. The company’s various former studios have been responsible for both a photo-sharing app and a messaging app that have launched within the last year. However, they look more like experiments than real products Google has gone out of its way to market and support.
A big advantage that Google has over Facebook at the moment is that it already supports a rich ecosystem of mobile games through the Android platform. Even though Facebook easily has the most popular smartphone apps in the world, it hasn’t been able to make as many in-roads in terms of becoming a platform for third-party mobile apps. The company is prepping an HTML5 platform for mobile applications, but it’s too early to tell if this will work.
If Google+ becomes a gaming platform, there could be some nice mobile and social overlap here with a uniform payments infrastructure underlying both the social network and Android. Before co-heading up the company’s social efforts, consider that Vic Gundotra used to oversee the company’s strategy with mobile apps.