Sources familier with the matter have informed the Wall Street Journal that Google is in talks with several game development companies, in a process of developing a social-network based gaming community. This online gaming platform’s first competitor is Facebook as it is the home to thousands of popular online games which are played via the social network’s already-existing community. Google seems very serious about this as they’ve reportedly been in serious talks with Zynga, makers of Farmville and Zynga Poker, and Electronic Art’s subsidiary, PlayFish. They also may own $100-200million dollars worth of Zynga’s shares.
Google CEO, Eric Schmidt denied that a potential social network of theirs would resemble Facebook with his statement, “the world doesn’t need a copy of the same thing.” This upcoming social gaming network, already dubbed Google Games, would be a Game Center competitor as it will most likely make a push to the mobile space, as Zynga and Electronic Arts games have already. Game Center will bring together the games available on the App Store into a community similar to offerings from full-on game consoles such as Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. There will be trophies and awards for those who score the highest in multiplayer games, as well as leaderboards and even virtual prizes along the way for fulfilling achievements.
Additionally, we have already seen the inclusion of a friends list in Game Center, and this is a standard characteristic of any social networking environment. It is unknown if Google intended to compete with Apple’s imminent entry into the social gaming space, but if history repeats itself, Google really likes following Apple’s trends.