Here’s an interesting job post published on Google’s site – they are seeking a product manager for games, another proof that the company is building a social gaming platform of its own. The posting makes specific mention of a new venture dubbed Games at Google, described as “a brand-new business”.
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.
To long-time watchers, the news isn’t terribly surprising.
Google invested through its Ventures project five million dollars in the iFund-backed iPhone developer ngmoco which was acquired by the Japanese social games network, DeNA Co, for $403 million last October. And last summer, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was interested in building a social gaming rival to Apple’s Game Center, which has been an integral part of iOS since version four. Google has also been mentioned numerous times regarding serious talks with Zynga, the maker of Farmville and Zynga Poker, and Electronic Arts’ subsidiary, PlayFish. That said, the Games at Google initiative could present a formidable challenge to both Facebook and Apple. With one billion unique visitors a month visiting google.com (or one-seventh of the world’s population), a comprehensive game service from everyone’s favorite search company could hit the ground running in no time.