Google Games Epic win or Facebook redux

first_imgGames have been a series topic when Google+ is being discussed. The big questions surrounding the continued viability of the social network and tools that will be needed in order to bring more users away from Facebook have yet to be answered and gaming could be key. This conversation usually takes shape when the two services are being compared, and as a result, it is often considered a really good thing that Google+ is not flooded with game notifications or invites, much like many Facebook walls are. While Facebook does now offer some tools to decrease that noise, the process is extensive and tedious.Google+ has a real opportunity to make Games available to those that want them, and keep them from those that do not. Yesterday was announced that Google Games was being rolled out to a small group of users at first. Here’s what we know…The Games StreamIn Google’s blog post about the arrival of Games, a great deal was done to assure us that the Google+ steams that we have spent so much time and effort cultivating and caring for won’t cross with Google Game. After all, we all know what happens when you cross the streams. So, how did Google accomplish this, and how do they intend to keep their word? Well, for starters, Games is only accessible via a brand new button next to your circles button on the homescreen. This will take you to Google Games and the Games stream.From here, you are presented with some Featured Titles as well as a list of recently played Games. Navigation for the games feels very much like the Chrome Web Store in many aspects. When you choose a game for the first time to play, you are asked, much like you are in the Android Market, for permission to access features of your Google+ account. These features will be different based on the game, but of you decline the game window will close. If you accept, you’ll be whisked away to the game, ready to play.Where are my Games?Google is rolling out Games in droves to users over the next couple of days. You will know you have access to the new games when the D-Pad icon shows up on your Google+ homescreen.You could always try to go to the page directly via games.google.com, but you’ll be disappointed at the result.Like the rest of the Google+ project, Google is closely monitoring each new group the features are being added to, and keeping a close eye on the feedback that is submitted for each, adjusting the service as they go. For the website with the fastest growth that has ever been seen on the web before, it’s speculated that Games will be rolled out to all by the beginning of next week.Developers, Developers, DevelopersMuch like the fight in the mobile space, Google knows that the key to success here is to get developers working on Google+ games as soon as possible. Much like the Chrome Web Store, Google has targeted Developers wallets by offering them a 5% draw on in-app purchases, which is a huge jump over the 30% Facebook is currently charging. Additionally, Google has started with a healthy selection of titles out of the gate, including the ever popular Angry Birds, a huge title that does not yet exist on Facebook. Google has targeted Developers by offering a better price and a competitive market, not to mention the unprecedented level of engagement that has been reported on by dozens of tech blogs.Final ThoughtsGoogle did exactly what they said they were going to do. They delivered Google Games without interfering with Google+, and did it in a way that will both bring new users and developers to the platform, but also keep the existing users happy and loving the service. Now, let’s see what they do with businesses.last_img read more