Friday, August 12, 2011

Google+ Games are now introduced - but why before Search and Business Profiles

Games in Google+ have been announced yesterday. The roll out has begun and will arrive over the next days in your Google+ environment. Not everybody is happy with the annoucement. Especially because Search and the real API is missing.

As cool as games are for lots of people, hopefully, the have done it right and it is not annoying to Google+ fans. As Google+ is still a field test and only people, and not businesses are invited, games could be the right move to attract more users to the game.

But I would be very excited to see the internal road map of Google+. I thought it would make a lot of sense to have *search* or *business profiles* or the *google+ api* up an running before *games*a re introduced to Google Plus.

*What could be the reason for this very different road map?*

I am really not sure about this, but I try to look for some answers:

1. Games developers are keen to get their games to a new platform

Games are not only for fun - at least from the game developer perspective. Game developers want to make money. And field testing the acceptance of games in Google+ environment could tell a lot of very specific answers for the developers *and* for Google

2. Games are not developed by Google but by third party developers

As we know, Google+ was started as project Emerald Sea about a year ago, so game developers like Zygna and others had lots of time to get ready for the game. After the very positive introduction and start of Google+ games were the next logical step.

3. Challenge Facebook and Apple

By introducing games, Google+ could be a lot more attractive for casual game players and if done right, the annoying parts, as we all have seen with Farmville and Mafia games, could be left behind. Challenging Facebook and Apple is another part of the story. Uptil now Google+ was a nice social network but had not the gamification parts, that made Facebook grow like bamboo. With about 25+ millions users Google+ could be large enough to attract a lot of games and pulling more game fans into Google+. Combined with the 150 invitation that every user now has, the growth of Google+ could gain a lot more traction.

4. Testing the possibilities to make money from Google+

Games can be sold and Games have the chance to sell goods, more levels and other stuff within the game. This is very attractive for the developers. Keeping in mind, that Google Checkout is working quite well on the Android platform, time has come to introduce it to a larger audience.

5. Just attract a much more broader audience

Could it really be that easy. Introducing games to attract lots and lots more of users to Google+.

Not sure how games are integrated in the Google Plus universe, but there has to be some kind of API. So this could also be a first test, how well the API has been designed with a limited number of game developers before the official Google Plus API is released to more developers.

Google+ Platform Blog

Hopefully Google plus is expanded with search capabiliities and business profiles in the near future.