Friday, 12 August 2011

Surprise - Google+ Games Going Live

Google+ users may notice something new on top of their streams on Thursday — a small icon signifying that Google+ Games had gone live.

The social network began offering a range of games from publishers including Zynga, Rovio and Wooga, but minutes after Google announced the offering on its Official Blog, it disappeared. It’s likely to return very soon though. “Games will be gradually rolling out so you might not see it right away,” a Google rep says.
In the blog entry,Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering for Google, stressed that the games, when they do eventually go live, won’t be appearing in everyone’s stream, an apparent veiled jab at Facebook, which lets game updates appear in its Top News and Most Recent streams.
“That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences, Gundotra wrote on Thursday. “Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.” Likewise, your scores will only be displayed to people in one of your circles when they themselves are interested in playing games too. “If you’re not interested in games, it’s easy to ignore them,” Gundotra writes. “Your stream will remain focused on conversations with the people you care about.”
The blog entry displays 16 game titles including Zynga PokerAngry Birds and Sudoko.
The launch of games on Google+ is no surprise. Back in June, a reference to “Google+ Games” appeared in Google+ code. Google has been taking its time to make sure Google+ is fully functional before wide release and before it starts accepting branded profiles, but gaming is clearly a big step toward building a viable competitor to Facebook.
What do you think? Does Google’s strategy with games on Google+ make sense? What games would you like to see on the platform? Let us know in the comments.
Update: If you don’t have access to Google+ Games yet, check out the Google-produced video below for a look at what to expect.

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