Google could be taking the plunge into subscription video games with a new project, codenamed Yeti. The subscription-based streaming service will potentially run on Chromecast or a new console that the company may be working on, according to an article on The Information.
The new project may very well have to do with the company’s recent high-profile hire of Phil Harrison, a game industry veteran who previously held an executive position at Microsoft and ran Sony PlayStation’s first-party studios and research and development teams. Harrison has a lot of experience with consoles, which will be a big asset to Google if it is in fact developing its own system.
Google is no stranger to the games market. In recent years, it has put effort into shoring up its Google Play mobile marketplace. It ran its second annual Google Play Indie Games Festival last year, and launched the Change the Game diversity initiative aimed toward getting more women into mobile game development. It has also been pruning the marketplace, removing what it deems to be bad apps, and rolling out improvements to discoverability features to spotlight games and developers.
Outside of mobile, Google snapped up Owlchemy Labs, the developer behind the top-selling virtual reality game Job Simulator. Its Daydream VR headset has attracted third-party developers as well, such as Resolution Games, which announced its pirate adventure game Narrows for the platform. If Yeti ends up streaming on Chromecast, this may tie in nicely with Daydream’s ability to cast VR games on TVs to share the experience.
Yeti won’t be the only subscription-based game streaming service. Others have staked out their territory in the space, such as Utomik and the indie-focused Jump which are both available on PC. If the project will run on a Google-developed console, then the company isn’t the only one who sees the merit in releasing dedicated hardware for its games. Atari has been working on a home console, though it has delayed preorders for its Ataribox due to hitting development snags. GamesBeat has reached out to Google for comment and will update this article if we get more information.