May 13th, 2013

google play games screens

We’ve heard for a while now that Google would start taking mobile gaming more seriously, with a Game Center-like service for people to connect in online games, track leaderboards and achievements, and more. We haven’t had much concrete evidence to go on, but that all changed over the weekend when an APK teardown revealed some resource files which directly mention Play Games in all its glory.

The files were discovered after the version 3.1 update to the Google Play Services APK. In it was found a half-functioning settings app that tips us to functionality like being able to control who can send you game invites and switching between different Google accounts. Some of the strings entries revealed tons of other functionality that we can’t quite envision just yet.

It references things like synchronized game saves for playing your games across different devices, tools for facilitating matchmaking and sending game invites, achievements which reward players for completing goals in-game, and ranking and tracking scores across global leaderboards. We even get a look at some of the early icons and graphics that will be used for the service.

Unfortunately this entire picture has still yet to be painted, but we’re told to expect an announcement this week at Google I/O 2013. Just looking at the slate of events on Google’s sessions schedule shows us they’re putting major emphasis on gaming this year, but we’ll have to wait for the show to see just how much Google is doing to help improve the Android gaming scene.