Google+ Product Manager Punit Soni promised today, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, that Google will combine it’s multiple gaming platforms into a single unified platform, making developers’ lives much easier.
“By next year, we will not be here talking about Google+ Games, Chrome Web Store games, Games for Native Client and Android games. We will be talking about Google games.”
Doing this will give developers a much larger audience to target, making developing for Google more lucrative. Technically, this will entail using technologies such as HTML5 and Google Chrome Native Client, which enables browser games to take advantage of 3D graphics hardware, for easier and higher performing cross-platform compatibility.
Google+ will serve as the social layer supporting and helping games get noticed. With already more than 100 million active monthly users spending more than one hour a day on the site, Google+ will certainly attract gaming companies. Game developers are excited to have a Facebook alternative, but want Google to provide more promotional opportunities for their games. Google is starting to do this already with a new notification system to promote games to your Google+ circles.
Soni also mentioned that Google is working on updating the payment system, bringing Video Hangouts to games, and leveraging Native Client for better performance in Web games. On why games are important to Google, Soni had this to say:
“It was very clear games was one of the first things we would put up there on Google+. Games bring people together. They are an important part of how users interact online. Game developers push boundaries, and games are fun.”
The unification of Google properties seems to be the overarching theme this year. The Android Market was rebranded as the Google Play Store today, with Android Apps, Google Books, Google Music, and Google Movies all under the same roof. This is an already successful gaming market of more than 300 million Android devices.
In many cases, porting existing Facebook games to the Google platform is trivial. Also, there are apparently a number of console game developers already porting their games to Google Chrome Native Client. The desktop Chrome browser had 200 million users and a million new installs a day in October, adding more to the potential audience for these games. The future certainly looks bright for gaming on Google.