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Social Gaming Features Coming to Android with Google Play Games

Posted by Jim Tanous on May 12, 2013
Google Play Game Services

Apple’s Game Center, the social iOS gaming service introduced as part of iOS 4.1 in September 2010, is about to get a doppelgänger in the form of “Google Play Games,” a new feature coming soon to Android. According to Android Police, which obtained an early build of the service, Google Play Games will likely feature syncing saved games between devices, shared game lobbies for chatting and matchmaking, invites and challenges, icon badges and notifications, score leaderboards, and achievements.

The service will be unsurprisingly based on Google+, with Google+ users able to manage their game partners and foes via their circles. Users can also push Google Play Games data back to their Google+ pages, with features that allow the posting of high scores and leaderboard rankings.

It should also be noted that in its current form, the service is tied in to compatible games without a separate standalone client application. This contrasts with Apple’s iOS implementation of Game Center, which similarly requires developers to build in support to their apps, but also has a standalone client app. It is unknown if Google plans to release such a standalone client, or if additional features will be introduced.

An official Google Play Games service would make Android the third mobile platform to receive social gaming integration. As mentioned above, Apple’s Game Center was introduced on iOS in September 2010, and was followed by Microsoft’s Games Hub for Windows Phone in July 2012. Further details about Google’s plans for its service are expected in the coming weeks, perhaps as early as Google I/O 2013, which kicks off this Wednesday, May 15.

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