Google Stadia and the “Games Future” project
Court documents have brought to light Google’s plan of another massive undertaking in the gaming scene. The court documents in question talk about an Android and Google Play-focused “Games Future” that will run parallel to Stadia, another ambitious gaming project from Google that is primarily focused on game streaming.
Google is no stranger to running multiple programs that achieve more or less the same thing, and this “Games Future” project and Stadia being pretty similar should be of no surprise to anyone, really.
What is “Games Future?”
“Games Future” provides a roadmap of what Google wants to accomplish in gaming by 2025. It is an internal “Google Confidential” presentation that only hit the public eyes as a direct result of the Apple and Epic Games lawsuit.
The presentation is dated October 2020 and was produced by the “Google Play” division. Google does not specify what percentage of the gaming industry valued at $35-40 billion it wants to take, but it is keen on trying to “avoid erosion on mobile”
Google’s vision is to “deliver the best platform to build, discover, and experience games”. The company wants to be the place where developers publish their titles. In turn, it will make those games available across all its platforms and devices.
Google has outlined three main key points in moving forward with “Games Future”
- On the “build” front, the company will offer “full-spectrum developer services for game making.” This includes cloud services that make it easier to host large tournaments, and payments solutions like crowdfunding.
- The “Discover” tentpole involves “organiz[ing] the world’s game”: This involves aggregating games across providers, including game streaming, so you can always find games through Google and 3rd parties.
- “Experience” is letting users “play on any screen.” Google specifically has the Android (mobile/emulated), Windows (native), and Mac (“w/ Play services”) platforms in mind, while form factors include “phones, desktops, smart displays, [and] TVs with game controller support.” As of today, Google has yet to detail any official plans to bring Android apps to Windows or Mac.
As usual with court documents, most of the information is redacted, including a section on “Current multiplatform efforts”. One slide however appears to show that the “V1” of this effort includes bringing the “best of Android mobile games on PC”.
“Bring our catalogue and tech to more screens and platforms, including Google’s Ambient computing vision. Starting with Windows to distribute emulated, native and streamed games, with a low-cost universal portable game controller”
The future of Google’s gaming plans
It is worth noting that Google is yet to announce this undertaking officially, and for all we know it might never see the light of day. However, the document makes reference to ongoing projects like the Android 12 Game Dashboard among other developer updates that are on the way.
This gives legitimacy that the project has progressed far into the pipeline. How it will integrate with Google Stadia is also another issue they will have to figure out in the future.
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