Last year when the App Inventor for Android came out, we were in the original beta and saw a few features that had yet been implemented. These features including transferring data to and from game servers and other similar features. We took an educated guess at this being a similar system like iOS has with their Game Center.
Well today Engadget is reporting on a new job opening at Google which sheds a little more light on the subject... sort of. While this job posting could very well just be Google dabbling in social game development type activities with games similar to that of Zynga, it could also mean that a Game Center service similar to what iOS has is on the way. In fact, we have been banking on Google doing something like this every since we posted about way back then.
Here is the full description of the job posting for your consideration:
Product Manager, Games - Mountain View
This position is based in Mountain View, CA.
The area: Product Management
One of the many reasons Google consistently brings innovative, world-changing products to market is because of the collaborative work we do in Product Management. With eyes focused squarely on the future, our team works closely with creative and prolific engineers to help design and develop technologies that improve access to the world's information. We're responsible for guiding products throughout the execution cycle, focusing specifically on analyzing, positioning, packaging, promoting and tailoring our solutions to all the markets where Google does business.
The role: Product Manager, Games
Rare opportunity to grow a brand-new business - Games at Google! We are looking for a strategic, technical and game-loving Product Manager to drive Google's gaming strategy. You will design strategies for game distribution and discovery, player identity, game mechanics, and more. In addition to designing a great user experience and building out key partnerships, you will be significantly influencing Google's social platform as you work directly with a critical set of early adopters, game developers. Interesting and impactful decisions involving social gaming, privacy, virality, business, and technical APIs await you and the strong, passionate team of gamers you will work with.
Drive feature requirements for Google'’s gaming platform
Work with business development and developer relations to drive gaming partnerships/ content deals
Initiate and prioritize projects within engineering, assist in determining the best technical implementation methods, track product development, and develop product launch plans.
Establish partnerships internally and externally to drive the growth of games
Technical undergraduate degree or equivalent experience; Masters degree preferred.
Product management experience with a track record of creating innovative and winning Internet or software solutions.
Entrepreneurial experience and a penchant for creating great products is highly valued.
Demonstrated ability to gather user requirements and convert them into a winning product vision.
Strong quantitative and analytical abilities with a deep understanding of gaming platforms.
The first responsibility listed is what really drives in the idea of a Game Center type service for Android devices which would include not just phones and tablets but Google TVs as well considering it is labeled as a gaming platform. Perhaps it will be a mix of exclusive Google developed games, games from partners (like Zynga) and a Game Center like iOS has. Either way, Google has had something like this in the works for some time now and it appears to be coming closer to perhaps a closed beta at some point in the next 6-12 months.
We always thought something like a Game Center for Android should have been in place long ago and now it looks like it may very well happen soon. So if this is what this will end up as, how great would that be? Another question to ask is, is this a little too late with services like OnLive coming out that you can use on most Android Devices?
AndrewH - Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of DroidGamers. Having been a hardcore PC and console gamer all his life, this passion is now applied to Android gaming and writing about it. When not playing or writing about Android games, he spends his time with his wife and son.