Apparently Google isn't satisfied with how massive it is already; the tech juggernaut might be developing a virtual online world. Okay, so it probably won't really be an MMORPG per say, but it could be something similar to Second Life. Rumors of the project have been gaining momentum for a while now, and we here at Massively are laying out all the evidence right here for you to see.
Way back in January major media outlets speculated that Google would use its then-newly-acquired SketchUp asset to turn Google Earth into some sort of Second Life-type experience. Then The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was to acquire Adscape Media Inc., a company that specializes in creatively integrating advertising into games. In September, ASU students began testing a mysterious application very likely connected to Google, and observers speculated that the application could be a 3D virtual environment.
Google made a deal with Multiverse (the company connected to the possibly problematic Firefly MMO) to sync Multiverse's flexible virtual reality engine with Google's assets and tools. The Reuters blog MediaFile points out that au courant industry figures are taking the existence of a Google virtual world for granted at this point.
The fire keeps getting more fuel. Multiverse's Corey Bridge was quoted in The Financial Times describing a future when people will use their real identities (rather than fictional character avatars) to interact with one another in virtual worlds that will be integrated into social networking platforms similar to Facebook or MySpace. Google is making a huge social networking push this month. Will World of Googlecraft be part of it? Stay tuned.