Google+ have already attracted some of the big boys in casual online gaming by adding Rovio’s Angry Birds to the new Google+ Games button (as well as the age old ‘Bejewelled’ game).
So Google really is taking the fight to Facebook with adding an easy to access social games ‘tab’. Users can invite contacts from their ‘circles’ to play games online AND together! At the same time, the page will store the gaming data to make it easy to share/view scores.
Vic Gundotra, senior vice-president of engineering at Google, said:
“The experiences we have together are just as important to our relationships. We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life.”
The Google+ games feature only started rolling out yesterday so fear not if you can’t see it yet. So far there are only 16 games but you can be sure that this number will increase dramatically once the feature is established and developers get their hands on the API. With the likes of Zynga already behind it, I don’t think this will be far off.
However, Facebook is Facebook…the behemoth of social networks and will not be out-done. They too have recently released a myriad of updates such as the Games Ticker. This will transform your chat space into a newsfeed of your friends’ gaming activity.
Clearly both networks are really going all out to gamify (add a game mechanics layer) their respective network. Knowing that social/casual online gaming is a huge (and growing) market. Don’t be surprised to see Google+ start adding a personal ‘acheivements’ or ‘badges’ feed in the foreseeable future.
The social gaming wars continue…