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Google Play Games ditches the Google+ log-in requirement

Create your Google Gamer ID now.

Your Google+ account continues to get a little less useful. The folks in Mountain View announced today that Google Play Games would not longer require the aforementioned log-in. Over the coming weeks, titles integrated with the company's gaming hub will transition to new Gamer IDs. You don't have to wait, though, as you can secure a handle with the Google Play Games app right now. Choose from over 40 avatars for your profile picture while you're at it.

The new usernames are tied to your email account and you can decide whether to keep your activity public or private. When you need to search for friends, you can do so with their email -- something developers can make easier now that access to Contacts is also decoupled from Google+. There's also a new sign-in process that only requires to you enter your credentials once per account rather than once per game. If you haven't tried Google Play Games yet, you'll be prompted to pick a Gamer ID when you log in for the first time. Existing users will be prompted to do so when signing into a new Play-integrated title. The company began nixing the Google+ requirement last year, starting with YouTube before moving on to other apps and services.

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