Google is evidently serious about making games easier to discover on the Android platform. Android Police reported Saturday that it received a leak of a full document describing the new Google Play Games service that makes Android games more social.
The platform is much like Game Center on Apple’s iOS platform. Google Play Games, which will be part of Google Play Services v3.1.36, will have multiplayer functionality, leaderboards, achievements, and cloud game saves. By offering these services as a part of its platform, Google will offload that work from game developers. It will also make Google Play games more viral, since players will be able to share their game achievements with friends and engage those friends in the game via a social chain reaction. Developers have been calling for such a platform for a while, and rival platforms have emerged to offer the same thing, such as the iOS-Google Play cross-platform service coming from OpenKit.
We have put in a request for comment to Google.
The services are a recognition of how games have become to the Google mobile platform. In the U.S., games account for three-fourths of all revenue on the Google Play store, according to App Annie. In South Korea, the percentage of revenue that comes from games is 95 percent.
In the Play Games Settings part of the Google Play menu, you will be able to turn on game notifications and manage who can send those notifications to you. Google+ will hand identification of players. The code that Android Police reviewed showed a Synced Game Saves function, where you can save your game to Google’s cloud so you don’t have to worry about losing it if you lose your phone or you switch to play on another device. Play Games will handle invites and matchmaking. It also has features for unlocking achievements, lobbies, icon badges, and in-game chat.