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Google+ Launches First Set Of Social Games

Google+ Launches First Set Of Social Games

August 11, 2011 | By Tom Curtis

Today, Google announced that it has added games support to its Google+ social network -- though unlike Facebook, this new service is not an open platform.

On the official Google+ Platform Blog, engineering director David Glazer says that Google itself will curate the titles that will appear on the service, implying that developers will have to submit their games for approval before hosting them on the platform.

He writes, "Because we want to provide both a great user experience and a great developer experience, we’re focusing on quality before quantity. We will continue to add new partners and new features in small steps, starting with today’s release of the games APIs to a small number of developers."

This policy differs significantly from Google's approach to its Android platform, which allows developers to release titles and apps as they see fit.

Google+'s initial offering of games spans 16 titles, which include popular casual and social games such as Rovio's Angry Birds, PopCap's Bejeweled Blitz, EA's Dragon Age Legends, and Digital Chocolate's Zombie Lane, among others.

In addition, Google also says that it intends to keep Google+ games in a separate section from the rest of the network's social features, allowing users to choose whether they want to see game updates from their "circles," or to ignore the content altogether.

On the official Google+ Blog, the company explains that it wants games to be "there when you want them and gone when you don’t."

[UPDATE: In the early days of this new game platform, Google says it will only charge developers a 5 percent commission for in-game transactions -- far less than Facebook's 30 percent official commission. This "promotional" rate, however, is not guaranteed to last, as the company says it has not decided what it will charge on a long-term basis, reports VentureBeat.]

The company says that it will gradually role out the games service to its users starting today.

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