Google Working on Game Center Competitor for Android

Google has reportedly taken note at how gaming has made the iPhone so popular, and plans to provide a similar Game Center hub for Android in the near future.

Apple's version made its debut in September 2010, a unified online multiplayer social gaming network that offers matchmaking, leaderboards, and achievement tracking. Players can connect with friends, meet new friends in online games, send friend requests, and organize online multiplayer games.

Currently Android doesn't feature a native gaming hub, but instead relies on third-party solutions provided by Gameloft and OpenFeint. But like Game Center, the native Android version is expected to track achievements and provide leaderboards. What's unknown at this point is if the friend-finding aspect will rely on Google+, but there's a definite possibility.

The native client -- Google Play Arcade? -- could be integrated into other Google services like Gmail, Google Chat and Google Maps. In the form of a browser-based service, users could stay in touch with friends and gaming stats without having to access their Android device. Ultimately Google's version could go way beyond what Apple currently provides for iOS devices.

"They are starting to really understand all of the needs and wants to make a game really successful," an industry source close to developers told Business Insider. "As recently as even a year ago, that really wasn't part of their institutional DNA, But I think they're getting there."

The source also said that Google is currently working on a fix for its payments system for Google Play. The company wants the process of purchasing Android games and other apps and media to be just as smooth as Apple's process on iTunes. This is supposedly why Android developers make less money than those who build apps for Apple's iOS devices -- because iTunes provides a better payment experience. And here we thought all this time that developers preferred iOS due to Android's fragmentation!

Naturally Google declined to comment about a gaming hub. Still, Google Play Arcade sounds like a likely name, doesn't it?

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  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Android needs its own gaming hub like Apple's Game Center for iOS devices.

    No, Android (and iOS) both need games that offer something more than flinging birds or popping bubbles. Oh wait... we're talking handheld gaming here. MODERN handheld gaming, that is. In the era of Windows Mobile (back in the PDAs days), I had all kinds of kickass games on my PDA. There was Heroes of Might and Magic, which was awesome. There were all kinds of RPGs. Heck, I had a strategy game there that I found more entertaining than some strategies on the desktop! And what do we have now? Hardware that's 10x as powerful and games that are 10x as bad. It's LAME. Game Center doesn't help if there're tons of crap there.
  • Anonymous
    @amk-aka Phantom
    *Takes alot of restraining to not calling you an idiot....

    Android gaming is unorganized, when you look through top games theres always angry birds, fruit slice... etc. but with a PROPER game advertisement system, we can get proper games.

    why dont you play Dungeon Defenders? Chaos Online? Zenonia? Pocket Empires? NFS?
    Android has great games. but as you are a perfect example of a android user who doesnt even know what's out there, you of all people should understand the necessity of this game distribution and tracking system.

    Just because we use old technology(In terms of speed and power compared to PC) doesnt mean we use old software. We have made many great software developments since days of pentium. Can you imagine windows 7 now without the drag-to-border-maximize function? i cant.

    android has many things in it that you dont even realize about. So stop moaning and get your facts straight.
  • Anonymous
    Kevin ParrishGoogle Working on EXACT DUPLICATE OF APPLE'S GAMECENTER for Android

    Fixed the title of this post!