Google Play launches game services for mobile, social, cloud gaming

Google Play launches game services for mobile, social, cloud gaming
Google is kicking off games services on its Play Store that allows developers to add achievements, social and public leaderboards, cloud saving, and real-time multiplayer. The games service goes live today and works completely on Android, and mostly on iOS or other "connected devices" – that second batch won't support multiplayer.

Google Play's games services differs from Apple's Game Center in that it offers backend support, rather than a standalone application.

Anyone making a game with Google Play has access to its developer services. A handful of games already have these services incorporated: World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2 and Osmos.

"We won't make it a mandatory exercise, or have any certification process around it," Google lead product manager Greg Hartrell told Engadget. "We create fantastic services that allow developers to create these great game experiences, and help promote their discovery, help retain their users and keep them engaged."

Check out the games services on Google's developer site.
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Introducing Google Play game services (May 15th, 2013)

We love to talk about games at Google. Especially the old ones, like Pac-man, Pitfall and Frogger. Since those classics, games have changed a lot. They've moved from that clunky box in your living room to the screen that you carry with you in your pocket wherever you go. They're mobile, they're social, and they're an important part of Google Play.

Today, we're launching Google Play game services, a core part of building a gaming platform for the next generation of games. These services help you make your games more social, with achievements, leaderboards, and multiplayer, as well as more powerful, storing game saves and settings in the cloud. They are available on Android, and many on iOS or any other connected device. By building on Google's strengths in mobile and cloud services, you can focus on what you're good at as game developers: creating great gaming experiences for your users.

With game services, you can incorporate:

Achievements that increase engagement and promote different styles of play.
Social and public leaderboards that seamlessly use Google+ circles to track high scores across friends and across the world.

Cloud saves that provide a simple and streamlined storage API to store game saves and settings. Now players never have to replay Level 1 again.

Real-time multiplayer for easy addition of cooperative or competitive game play on Android devices. Using G+ Circles a game can have up to 4 simultaneous friends or auto-matched players in a game session together with support for additional players coming soon.

Several great Android games are already using these new game services, including World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.

Google Play game services are available today through an SDK for Android, and a native iOS SDK for IPhone and iPad games. Web and other platform developers will also find corresponding REST APIs, with libraries for JavaScript, Java, Python, Go, Dart, PHP, and more.

We're excited to see what games will do with these new services and experiences, and this is only the beginning. Wait until you get to the boss battle... er.. Check out our developer site to get started:

Greg Hartrell, Lead Product Manager

This article was originally published on Joystiq.