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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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Benjamin Gifford
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You will need though unrestricted access to view/play.

Doug Poston
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As long as I never have to get alerts about somebody's virtual cow, I'm good with it. ;)

Ian Bogost
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No cowmment. Yet.

Christian Nutt
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Alan Rimkeit
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Google wants to eat Facebook. If anyone can it is Google. Mmm, yummy.

Cody Scott
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But that puts me in a difficult situation.... i trust google even less than i do facebook.

Alan Rimkeit
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I know what you mean Cody.... O.o

Megan Fox
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Wow. A curated marketplace to help with sifting out the good games (much like how Steam assists in discovery for indie PC games), AND 5% vs 30%?

Facebook doesn't stand a chance, unless they do a tremendous 180 on policy. Google is situating properly to allow for Core-focused social games, something Facebook's simply not built to do.

David Marcum
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You seem to think social gamers want "good games", that facebook's market position is reliant on apps and that Core-focused social games will work (make money). These are big assumptions. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you.

Sherman Luong
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Feels more like back to the old ways of a few publishers and close out the market. Many may think its better cause you get better games but it also closes out on many who are stuck outside the market. Back to the great good old days. ;/

Christopher Enderle
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I'm not sure the 5% vs 30% will make that much of a difference. Google talk is still free between Canada/USA and was really gunning for Skype, but Skype still seems to be the communicator of choice. I figure it would be a better long term strategy, as long as Google can afford it.

Keith Nemitz
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I can't see Google+ growing larger than Facebook. But I'd love to see G+ become a long-lasting contender. Competition is good. Steam needs a strong competitor too, as much as I like Valve.

Pallav Nawani
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Right on all counts!