Is Google Getting Into Gaming?
Given Google's history of getting involved in industries and businesses that aren't primarily linked with the company's search engine, it's not so surprising that Google may be focusing specifically on gaming in the near future.
Google recently hired Mark DeLoura, a former employee of Sony Computer Entertainment America and game publisher Ubisoft, as a "Developer Advocate" for gaming at Google.
"I personally feel that Google hiring someone specifically to focus on games is a signal from the company that they recognize the growing importance of games as a medium," DeLoura told Gamasutra.
The new emphasis on gaming also makes sense in the context of Google's smartphone operating system. Like the iPhone, Android smartphones are capable of downloading and running apps. And like the iPhone, Android phones have the potential to become major gaming platforms .
The iPhone and iPad have shown that making game apps can be a lucrative business model, and it's likely DeLoura will focus on making the same transition for Android. Google will have to spend more time luring game developers away from the iPhone App Store, which has proven to be a successful venue for app games, to develop games for Android.
"In this time of great disruption in the game industry, there are a huge number of opportunities for developers," DeLoura said. "It can be difficult for traditional games companies to navigate the new possibilities provided by mobile platforms, social networks, and alternative business models. I’m looking forward to working with both traditional games companies and new game developers to talk about how Google can help, and the platforms and projects Google is working on."