Google+ Gets Games

Google+ officially launches its Games service with a series of established Facebook and mobile developers including Zynga, Playdom, PopCap Games, Kabam, Wooga, Rovio and more. Google+’s initial offering of games spans 16 titles, which include popular casual and social games and Google also says that it intends to keep Google+ games in a separate section from the rest of the network’s social features for allowing users to choose whether they want to see game updates from their circles or to ignore the content altogether……………..

 

Google has just launched its games platform on Google+, creating a potentially large new market for the social gaming industry and it’s Google’s first big step in developing a third-party platform for Google+. Ranzenbach, vice president of operations at PrivCo, which analyzes companies such as Facebook, Groupon, Zynga and others, says that Google+ games could badly damage a major source of revenue for Facebook. That’s because Google has offered to take only a 5 percent cut of virtual goods game transactions from third-party game makers, while Facebook is taking 30 percent. If developers sell virtual goods for a game on Facebook, they have to use Facebook Credits and Facebook gets to keep 30 percent of every transaction. That has made a number of developers angry. Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product at Google, said that games were a key part of the Google+ strategy from the start and Google thought long and hard about how to do them. And now, just a few weeks after the launch of Google+, the game launch is already here. That means Google knows that games are critical to the success of its social network. It is interesting that Zynga, which Google invested in last year, is part of the Google+ launch. If Google can rally ore of the big players to its side, it can neutralize Facebook’s advantages in games and hurt its money-making engine.

 

PrivCo calculates that roughly two-thirds of Facebook’s revenues come from advertising, while the remaining third comes from Facebook Credits. So Google+ games is attacking a third of Facebook’s revenues. Of course, lots of Facebook’s ads are placed on pages where users are playing games, so a significant chunk of the ad revenue is related to games as well. “Facebook brought this on itself by demanding such onerous terms,” said Sam Hamadeh, chief executive at PrivCo. “This has created a lot of animosity in the app development community and Google+ is well poised to capitalize on Facebook’s overstep by offering lower pricing, looser terms, and no exclusivity.” PrivCo concludes that the result will be a major financial impact on Facebook that could affect its planned initial public offering. Sony launched the PlayStation 2 and said it would become the gateway to entertainment in the home and replace the PC. This scared the wits out of Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft. But Sony spoke too soon, talking about its master plan before it could execute on it. Gates saw that the bulk of Sony’s profits came from games. By attack games, Microsoft could ruin Sony’s diabolical plan to take over the world. Google is charging a 5% fee to developers for virtual goods transactions on these platform games as a promotional offer and this much lower fee to attract developers, Google is going after Facebook, which takes a 30% cut from developers for using its required Facebook Creditsvirtual currency system. A “Games” button should appear at the top of your Google+ stream, which should grant you access to the following games:

  • Angry Birds (Rovio)
  • Bejeweled Blitz (PopCap)
  • Bubble Island (wooga)
  • City of Wonder (Playdom)
  • Collapse! Blast (GameHouse)
  • Crime City (Funzio)
  • Diamond Dash (wooga)
  • Dragon Age Legends (BioWare)
  • Dragons Of Atlantis (Kabam)
  • Edge World (Kabam)
  • Flood-It! (LabPixies)
  • Monster World (wooga)
  • Sudoku
  • Wild Ones (Playdom)
  • Zombie Lane (Digital Chocolate)
  • Zynga Poker (Zynga)

 

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