Back when Google introduced Google+ in 2011, the Internet giant was aware that it had to resort to aggressive means to compete with Facebook. That's why the Mountain View-based company started introducing Google+ integration in a significant portion of its popular services, ranging from YouTube to Google Play Games. However, as years went on, Google apparently came to terms with the fact that its social network will never manage to achieve a mainstream appeal.
This state of affairs led to Google dropping Google+ integration from YouTube last year, and it's also why the company started offering standalone Play Games accounts last February. More specifically, anyone who decides to sign up for a Play Games account today receives a unique player ID which is no way related to Google+. Earlier this week, Google announced another step towards separating its struggling social network from its online gaming service. In a blog post published yesterday, the company's Platform Engineer Clayton Wilkinson explained how Google Play Games is completely dropping Google+ integration next year.
More specifically, all Google+ integration will be ditched by the online gaming service next February. The original idea behind this integration was to allow people to see how their friends are doing in games they're playing, but as Google+ failed to attract a mainstream audience, the Mountain View-based company will now be looking for a better solution to add social elements to its online gaming platform. For the time being, this means that as of next February, Google Play Games will stop receiving Google+ social data, while all social integration will now be based on a Google Sign-In application programming interface (API). In other words, you'll be able to log into Google Play Games by using your standard Google account.
However, the dropped support means that interfaces for social leaderboards and multiplayer invitations offered by Google Play Games will effectively stop working. Well, technically they'll still return successfully, but will come up with empty results. Wilkinson apologized for all the commotion this is bound to cause for Android developers, but reassured them that Google will work hard to create a better developer experience for them in the future. You can see the full list of APIs this change will affect by following the source link below.