Google shows signs of entering the gaming industry

Google is not known for their influence on the gaming industry, but it's possible they may be trying to change that, according to TechCrunch. A job posting was found on Google's website for a "Product Management Leader, Games." The posting calls for "a flexible, results-oriented, and experienced senior leader who will be responsible for developing Google's games commerce product strategy and partnering to build and manage the business with a cross-functional team." There are no details as to the exact strategy Google plans on implementing with this position, and it could range anywhere from becoming a publisher or simply buying innovative casual Internet games for a new Google Games brand.

From the job description, it seems like Google will be hiring some developers to make games in-house. The posting lists several items about developing, implementing, and distributing products, which seems pretty close to a development plan. However, Google hasn't had much success on the games development front in the past. A little-known virtual world/gaming platform called Lively was released by Google back in July 2008. It was a virtual world along the lines of LindenLabs' Second Life, a place where your avatar navigated a 3D world to interact with other members of the community, to share information or to play games. Sony developed a similar platform for the PS3, called Home, that allows for players to interact via a virtual digital world. Ultimately, Lively wasn't very lively, and was discontinued in December that same year.

It doesn't seem like this position will be overseeing a project like Lively. It looks less like they're developing a platform, and more like they're trying to develop a gaming brand for themselves. There is not enough detail in the posting to know for sure. Nevertheless, Google also recently hired Mark DeLoura, a gaming exec who among other things was Lead Engineer at Nintendo, as Developer Advocate for Games at Google. They also recently bought Israeli game developer LabPixies, further solidifying the notion that Google will indeed be making headway into the games market sometime in the near future.

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