Google plans social games debut

July 25, 2011 By Alex Pham and Jessica Guynn

Google Inc. is planning to debut a platform for social games that would compete with offerings on Facebook.

The search giant has approached developers to put their games on Google's new +, according to people knowledgeable about Google's plans who did not want to be identified because of confidentiality agreements. The plans, reported Friday by technology blog AllThingsD, could be announced as early as next month, they said.

A Google spokesperson declined to confirm the report, saying only that the company plans "to add a lot of features and functionality to Google+ over time."

Google is trying to counter Facebook Inc., which is competing with the giant for eyeballs and advertising dollars. An investor in San Francisco social gaming company Zynga Inc., Google aims to keep Facebook from dominating the lucrative market for social games, which has become a major revenue stream for the world's most popular social network.

Google+ is Google's most aggressive effort yet to crack the evolution of the Web from a place that connects people to information into a place that connects them to one another. It has amassed 20 million users in three weeks, according to research firm ComScore Inc. Adding social games could liven up Google+, which has far fewer users than Facebook's 750 million-plus and fewer bells and whistles. Google+ requires an invitation.

The market for social games in the U.S., which reached $1 billion last year, is projected to reach $5 billion by 2015, said Pietro Macchiarella, a game analyst with market research company Parks Associates. Much of the revenue comes from games played on Facebook.

Facebook requires makers of applications on its platform to pay 30 percent of revenue collected from selling virtual items on the network. One way Google could compete is by offering to take a smaller portion of game publishers' revenue.

Google's success in recruiting publishers, however, will hinge on its ability to continue its momentum in adding users to Google+, Macchiarella said.

About 250 million people play social games, but only about 2 percent to 3 percent of them spend money on virtual items or power-ups that enable players to advance faster in those games. That means require a large pool of players to cull a handful who will pay.

"Most publishers will be happy to extend their offerings to Google+," Macchiarella said, "but the significance of their business on this social network will be intrinsically connected to the success of Google in migrating people from ."

Explore further: Google 'building social network rival to Facebook'

0 shares

Related Stories

Facebook in challenge to Google crown

December 13, 2010

Facebook is challenging Google's supremacy on the Internet with a radically different approach to how people live, work, play and search online.

Facebook tops Google in website hits: study

January 1, 2011

Facebook stole the thunder from Google this year as the most-visited website in the United States, according to a new study from Internet research firm Experian Hitwise.

Recommended for you

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.