Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Google appears to be preparing the launch of a game center for Android with an unknown name. It looks like the new hub will sport a slew of features, including multiplayer support, in-game chat, lobbies, leaderboards, and achievements.
The leaked information come to us courtesy of Android Police, which amusingly stumbled on the details by tearing apart the apk file for MyGlass, the Google Glass companion app that launched earlier this week. The feature list was hidden within, though it’s not clear if this was done on purpose to build hype or entirely by accident. The publication explains:
The games service probably has nothing to do with Google Glass; Glass can’t run complex apps. The Glass team accidentally shipped the full suite of Google Play Services with their new app, which is not normal. This included a never-before-seen backend for an extensive multiplayer gaming service, with just about every gaming feature you could possibly imagine.
Digging in from there, the good guys at Android Police found that multiplayer support was coming (you’ll naturally be able to invite your friends to join you), both turn-based and real-time. The code includes getting notifications when it’s your turn again for the former, but it’s easy to see the bigger picture here: the latter could completely transform mobile gaming. If Google were to start handling the networking side for developers, Android games would never be the same again.
In-game chat also gets a mention, though it’s apparently limited to real-time multiplayer. It’s definitely more important there than for turn-based, but we don’t see why it can’t be included for both. Other notable features include lobbies (rooms for chatting before starting a game), leaderboards (track your progress against others), and achievements (track your personal progress).
There’s no reason to think that all these features will ship at once, but just basic multiplayer support will be huge for Google to get behind. This could arrive as soon as Google’s I/O developer conference next month, or it could be something the company is simply playing around with. Either way, it’s definitely exciting to think Google is developing something that will completely change the (mobile) game.
See also – Google may be readying an Apple Newsstand-like feature called Google Play News, with issues and subscriptions
Top Image Credit: Alan Bridges
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