Google Plus Games
Starting today (August 11th), Google will be gradually adding games to its Google+ social platform. The news in itself has nothing surprising, as Google invested money in Zynga, the company behind games such as Farmville and CityVille. Also, Google+ code showed intent to incorporate games later. No, the inclusion of games in its social network is not surprising.
What surprised people is the timing. No one guessed games would enter the G+ platform so soon. Google+ is still officially called "a project", and you still need to get an invite to try the new service. But then again, it's understandable that Google wants developpers to get to work as soon as possible to grow its offering of games before "going public". So far, google+ has attracted mostly an internet-savvy crowd. If it wants to become the so-called Facebook-Killer, it'll have to appeal to a much, much larger audience. It will take more than Circles, squares, or whatever polygons to convince people to switch network.... If done intelligently, a different, well-integrated multi-faceted social game environment might become a big selling point to the masses.
List of Games
The initial offering includes 16 tittles:
- Angry Birds
- Bejeweled Blitz
- Bubble Island
- City of Wonder
- Collapse! Blast
- Crime City
- Diamond Dash
- Dragon Age Legends
- Dragons of Atlantis
- Edge World
- Monster World
- Wild Ones
- Zombie Lane
- Zynga Poker
The Google+ Project
Google+ is not a typical release. Developed under the code name Emerald Sea, it is the result of a lengthy and urgent effort involving almost all of the company’s products. Hundreds of engineers were involved in the effort.
The main component is a continuous scroll called the Stream, an alternative to Facebook’s news feed. The stream has a companion feed called Sparks, related to one’s specific interests.
The second important aspect is Circles. It is a management tool, a way to organize fellow members, an improved way to share information with one’s friends, family, contacts and the public at large.
Besides the stream and Circles, Google+ has some other social features. Hangout allows users to spontaneously connect in video chats, with up to 10 people participating. Instant upload automatically dispatches to the cloud any of the pictures snapped on your phone, so that you can easily send them off to any circles you want to share with.
Google+ Games is among a hundred products planned to be launched in this context.
And Google+ marks just one milestone in a long, tough slog to remake Google into something more “people-centric.”
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