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Is a Google Backed Game Service on the Way for the Android Platform?

April 18, 2013 - Written By Briley Kenney

Xbox Live has a gaming service complete with achievements, online gaming and chat systems and it’s available on the Windows Phone platform. iOS has a gaming service with the same features, and it’s available for iPads and iPhones. It only makes sense that Android would see a similar service, especially with all the popular games hitting the Play store these days.

According to Android Police, an Android gaming service may be on the way, complete with real-time and turn-based multiplayer support, a chat system, game lobbies, player leaderboards, achievements and more!

Apparently this information was discovered during a teardown of Google Glass. Glass includes the full gamut of Google Mobile Services (GMS) now known as the Google Play Services. It’s essentially a software package filled with Google’s support components, designed specifically for developers. All of the necessary components to use Google’s services are included with the GMS. Things like Google sign-in credentials, Google+ integration, and even support for in-app purchases are included.

When a developer uses the software package they’re supposed to pick and choose what they need for their application, and then omit the rest. It seems like the Glass developers just compiled the whole package and shipped the device with all components intact.

Android Police GMS File comparison

As you can see in this lovely image from Android Police, it’s a comparison of the GMS folders found in various apps after a tear-down. You’ll notice right away “MyGlass” or Google Glass has a lot more folders available than the others.

So, what can this rumored game service purportedly do? Let’s break it down into individual services, shall we?

Real-time Multiplayer

Android Police realtime multiplayer services

These files hint that a real-time multiplayer service will be offered. Real-time connections are used in FPS, racing, and fighting games, or generally where there’s a lot of action, and you need a direct connection with other players. This begs the question: will Google be offering their own servers to handle the matchmaking service that a component like this would require?

Turn-based Multiplayer

Android Police turn based multiplayer services

These files indicate a turn-based multiplayer system, like what’s used in board games and strategy games. Games that require this type of component will clearly see players taking turns, possibly with large gaps in-between individual turns.

Player Chat System

Android Police in-game chat

These files hint at an in-game chat system. Apparently, the chat system will only be available through the real-time multiplayer service, but that makes plenty of sense. There are other ways to communicate with opponents when playing turn-based games.

Achievement System

Android Police achievements service

These files hint at an in-game achievement system. While many argue that achievements are utterly useless, that doesn’t disregard the fact that almost every system on the planet makes use of them now. Not to mention, I seriously want to unlock that achievement for collecting wood in Minecraft: PE so I can proudly display it on my Google profile.

Online Leaderboards

Android Police leaderboards service

These files hint at the ever-popular online leaderboards. There’s nothing quite like comparing your score to the rest of the world and realizing just how much you suck.

Game Invitations

Android Police Invitations

These files will handle game invitations, and establishing a connection to other players.

Game Lobbies

Android Police lobbies

Last, but certainly not least, these files show that there will be player lobbies of some kind. No doubt, this is where you can muster with other players and arrange a match.

Now that you’ve seen the breakdown of the mysterious Google Game services, what do you think? Keep in mind this has not been officially confirmed in any capacity. There’s no guarantee a gaming service is actually coming to Android. Then again, when you think about how many games are available in the Play store it’s hard to believe that Google hasn’t already released something like this for developers.

Source: Android Police