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Could Google Become a Game Publisher?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the either-that-or-they-won't dept.

Google 85

Forbes is running a story examining the possibility of Google becoming a games publisher. The launch of their Google Lively 3D world and the acquisition of in-game advertiser AdScape has analysts speculating on whether Google will use its enormous reach to tap into the lucrative games market. "Google also has several existing technologies that could be used to create games. Imagine a flight simulator that uses Google Earth as a backdrop or tracking a spy in a major city via Google Maps' street view. While there would still be significant work required to create a game using these tools, the underlying technology is already fundamentally finished."

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85 comments

Chances point to yes (1)

Vexor (947598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24952775)

They could, yes. Will it happen? It's not likely to be anytime soon.

Re:Chances point to yes (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953899)

It's Google, is there anything they can't do?

Re:Chances point to yes (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24955571)

No, not much. With a bankroll like Google has, they can pretty much do whatever the hell they feel like it.

- They could start a pharmaceutical division - Google Pills
- They could create their own car: Google Wheels
- Their own airline: Google Air
- Shoes: Google Steps
- Toys: Google Smile
- Fabric: Google Silk
- Concrete: Google Hard
- Trucks: Google Mac
- Storage systems: Google IO
- Telescopes: Google Sky
- Cameras: Google View

Wish I had 4bn to spend on bullshit too.

Re:Chances point to yes (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 5 years ago | (#24966315)

Yeah, but they won't. If they bought a company that inserts ads in games, it's to push their ads, not to make games, and that is so fucking obvious that the person who even thought Google would make games based on that must have their brains wired backwards.

Re:Chances point to yes (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 5 years ago | (#24980693)

Yeah, but they won't. If they bought a company that inserts ads in games, it's to push their ads, not to make games, and that is so fucking obvious that the person who even thought Google would make games based on that must have their brains wired backwards.

Why is that so fucking obvious? Yes, ofcourse they're interested in ads, but how do some of their other products fit into that? Like Google Earth, Gmail, GWT, Talk, Agenda, and now Chrome.
In fact, wouldn't the high-performance javascript of Chrome make more complex web-based games possible?

Google has a history of surprising us, so I'm not willing to rule out anything yet.

Re:Chances point to yes (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 5 years ago | (#24992423)

In fact, wouldn't the high-performance javascript of Chrome make more complex web-based games possible?

Not really. Seen many games in Java these days? It has 3D and sound, though... but its perf still suck too much. So I'm not betting on Chrome's JS interpreter having better perfs than Sun's Java VM.

Re:Chances point to yes (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 5 years ago | (#24994145)

In fact, wouldn't the high-performance javascript of Chrome make more complex web-based games possible?

Not really. Seen many games in Java these days? It has 3D and sound, though... but its perf still suck too much. So I'm not betting on Chrome's JS interpreter having better perfs than Sun's Java VM.

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here. Yes, for 3D games and other situations where performance matters, Java is no doubt much more suitable than javascript. But Java is not really web-based like javascript is. Javascript does DOM and Ajaxy stuff (which Google likes a lot), whereas a Java applet (a surprisingly unpopular way of running Java) is pretty much a desktop application surrounded by a website.

Exactly why Java applets are so unpopular while javascript is, is a mystery. I do actually know a site with a Java-based map similar to Google Maps, and it's fast and smooth, and yet it's Google Maps with its javascript that rules.

Good Lord (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#24952811)

For goodness' sake. They have your business data, your bank account details, your medical information, your DNA sequence and your personal preferences in pornography [today.com]. Now they want your gamer chat?

"Gamer chat: the unspeakable in pursuit of the incomprehensible" - Oscar Wilde.
  "stfu n00b" - Mark Twain.

"LOL PWN3D G3T WOW GOLD ON EBAY.COM"

Re:Good Lord (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953973)

Everyone already knows my personal preferences in pornography and has my DNA sequence for the same reasons.

Google Games wouldn't be any good... (5, Funny)

amdpox (1308283) | more than 5 years ago | (#24952841)

...after all, they'd have to run in a browser, would be supported by ads, and would steal all your sensitive information. And money. And clothes.

Sounds about par for the course... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953015)

they'd have to run in a browser, would be supported by ads, and would steal all your sensitive information.

Like just about all the other popular "flash" games on the net...?

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953139)

they'd have to run in a browser

Only until GoogleOS is completed. GoogleOS will run on the new GooglePC hardware platform, which you can purchase at your friendly neighborhood GoogleMart with GoogleBucks, which will replace most major national currencies by 2025.

Of course, if you can't afford a new GooglePC right away, you can always get more GoogleBucks by installing AdSense to display context-sensitive ads on the forehead of your GoogleBody, which you can replace your regular body with free of charge (Google reserves the right to deep-scan your brain in order to more accurately target the advertisements displayed in your GoogleHouse in exchange for this valuable body replacement service).

If you have any issues with any of your Google products, you can receive help on the GoogleNet. If that doesn't help, you can arrange a return by sending the item postage paid through GooglePost back to the GooglePlex for repair or replacement.

By 2030, most major national governments will be replaced by the new GoogleGov (beta). Eventually, Google will work to replace various common words in most languages with "google" in order to continue the strengthening of the brand. This might initially google some minor googles, but in google most googles will google to the changes. After some google, life will google google google google google.

Google,
Google

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953885)

Eventually, Google will work to replace various common words in most languages with "google" in order to continue the strengthening of the brand.

gI think gThey would just add a silent g'G' in front of any gNouns.

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24953921)

August 12, 2013: Google declares intention to mark every product that is not theirs, claiming it will take less effort.

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24953991)

Googlespeakfulaim keep googlethink and undo crimethinks. Googlespeakuse make plentfuler googlethinkers and unmake plentfuler crimethinkers. Googlespeak unspeak crimethink. Crimethinkfulwrds unis Googlespeak or is malrep. Googlespeak is speak pos unplentfulwrds

Googlespeak doubleplusmaxgoogle doubleplusmaxgood. MSoft crimethink doubleplusungoogle doubledoubleplusmaxungood.

Googlechrome processes doubleplusgooglegood, threads ungood doublemaxcrimethink.

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24954875)

GoogleOS runs in your browser.

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (1)

airos4 (82561) | more than 5 years ago | (#24955211)

The only bitch with the return policy is that the shipping to the moonbase remains prohibitively expensive, so you're probably better off just buying new Googlestuff and dunping the old Googlejunk into a Googlefill somewhere.

Happened before.... (2, Funny)

FishAdmin (1288708) | more than 5 years ago | (#24961847)

....doesn't anyone remember the Smurfs? Well, I smurfin' well remember those smurfy Smurfs! And if your memory's too smurfed up to smurf it, then you can just go smurf yourself, right up the smurfster! Smurf you, you smurfing smurfer!

Re:Happened before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24972049)

I wanna' smurf you like you've never been smurfed before, you smurfy smurf of a Smurf!

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24965939)

This is the more hilarious thing I've ever read on this site.

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24956081)

"they'd have to run in a browser"

I never noticed that Google Earth runs in my browser. And what about Chrome....I can't figure out why they'd write a web browser that runs in a web browser. They sure do strange things.

Yeah, I know...your post was meant to be funny. Sorry about pooping on your party.

Re:Google Games wouldn't be any good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24970883)

A game released by google doesn't necessarily need a browser. Look at another popular app or two they have released. For example, Google Earth doesn't run in a browser. Speaking of which, there's a rudimentary flight sim actually hidden in Google Earth. It's somewhat fun for scenery flying with the 3D objects turned on, but not much else. Imagine if there were other games they could run inside that 3D engine.

Lively is pretty sleepy (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24952873)

When Lively started up almost any search would have several "full" rooms at the top of the results. There were multiple overflow rooms for every possible topic. Now, even on the weekend, there's rarely more than half a dozen people in any of the rooms.

The google provided content has not changed in the past two months.

There have been no API or builder tools released.

It's going to need more than a Doubleshot to make it lively again.

Interesting... (1, Insightful)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#24952881)

I know I ask this every time I see a game article...but...
Will it run on Linux?

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24953643)

not... funny... anymore...

Re:Interesting... (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#24961339)

I'm not trying to be funny, though. I'm being totally serious. Windows will never again be on my laptop, unless it's in a VM for schoolwork.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24989109)

It's Google. The answer is yes.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24955557)

GoogleOS -> Google Chrome -> Linux

I'd say that yes, it will.

Multiplatform (3, Insightful)

djveer (1179631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24952899)

I almost hope so, that way we'd have a few more multi-platform games on the market.

Re:Multiplatform (4, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953053)

Gotta stick my oar in here- Whenever the old 'will this game run on Linux' question is asked, a bunch of, er, people weigh in with a load of pro-microsoft ranting.

Fair enough, in that no serious PC gamer can really do without a Windows install somewhere on their drives.

But they should realise that competition can only improve their own experience, regardless of which platform they chose to actually play on.

I've played the same game, same settings, on both XP and via WINE, with higher FPS on the latter (though the other way around is more usual). Surely this should tell you something?...

Competition is good for everyone.

Re:Multiplatform (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953573)

True in most cases, but then again, look at the port of the source engine to PS3. Valve did the Xbox 360 port themselves but left the PS3 one to EA, who royally screwed it up. Competition is usually good, but developers can only stretch themselves so far.. I'd rather the competition be to make the actual games themselves great, rather than resources being split between too many platforms.

Besides, the whole ethos of Linux itself promotes enough competition among the different components you can use for filesystem, graphics drivers and APIs, sound APIs, window managers, etc.. even if it became the dominant OS there would still be innovation taking place simply because people can mess about with it legally and without jumping through too many hoops.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

Fourier404 (1129107) | more than 5 years ago | (#24954243)

Remember those times before the IBM PC became a standard? I don't since I'm only 17, but from what I hear, it sucked. Programs had to be written for 50 different instruction sets and could only really make use of the lowest common denominator. If linux or macs suddenly became popular among gamers, games would start to suck when designers waste time porting and reporting their graphics engines and whatnot. Competition at the platform level is not going to improve things at the program level.

Perhaps it could drive all the operating systems to become much better, and then after a few years resettle on a new standard. But while that's happening all the games will suck, and I don't want to go through college while the industry is in such a state.

To clarify, I'm not saying we have to stick with Windows, but I do think there should be a standard OS. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to suddenly change something like that.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

rk (6314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24955173)

Nah, it didn't suck at all. It was a lot of fun, actually. I assure you things were not made for the lowest common denominator. It was more games tended to be exclusive to the platform they were written on, though there were some exceptions. You were so resource constrained that bumming every byte of memory was essential. You have single drivers on your system today that would not fit on the entire computer in that era. 64k was a lot of memory, and most systems were in the 16-32k range. Today's USB controller is a more sophisticated computer than the personal computers of the early 80s. :-)

The things that make games better and more sophisticated today have little to do with a single common platform and more to do with the tremendous advances in personal computing hardware over the last quarter century. And really, stretching back, I can only think of about 5 or 6 instruction sets in use for personal computers at the time: 65xx family, Z-80, 8080, 68xx family, 68000, and whatever TI processor was in the TI-99/4.

In those days, it was also possible for 1-3 person teams to make top-tier games, so (IMHO) there was a lot more creativity then. There was a lot of dreck, too, I won't kid you, but that's not changed. To make a AAA title now simply costs millions, because of all that's expected in one: original music, lots of art, amazing particle effects, cut scenes, writing, dialog with voice acting... the list goes on. The best a small group with an innovative idea can hope to do in this day and age is make a good demo and impress a larger house (Narbacular Drop becomes Portal) or maybe if you're very lucky, very good, and work very hard, you get to be someone like Introversion [introversion.co.uk]. But if you talk to the guys at Introversion, you find out quickly it's not all autographs and sunglasses for them, and it's a bit more than two or three guys.

Re:Multiplatform (0, Redundant)

Fourier404 (1129107) | more than 5 years ago | (#24955387)

First off, you went off on a tangent completely unrelated to the point at hand. I'm not talking about the fact that computers had orders of magnitude less power than they do today, so the creativity, small development teams, and all that are completely unrelated. The only relevant thing you said was that games tended to focus on one platform, and I don't want to have to buy two or more computers just to have access to all the games being made.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

William Baric (256345) | more than 5 years ago | (#24956771)

First, most mainstream games were multi-platform, except for consoles where there was a lot of exclusives. Second, if you compare the same game for the Amiga, the Atari ST, the C64 and the PC, you will realize that most used the full potential of each machine. The lowest common denominator thing is what happens now, because suits who want to squeeze every pennies out of anything basically took over the whole gaming industry. Finally, as for your comment that "porting" is a waste of time, it really depends on your point of view. In a way, porting means you can reuse a lot of the same and make a full new product for another customer. Sure, for the company, it would have been better if everyone had the exact same computer (the same way it would be better for car parts maker if everyone had the exact same car), but during those time it was the consumer who was the king, not the shareholders.

Oh, and the reason PC games are not CGA and adlib anymore, the reason we don't play with a colecovision anymore, is because of competition between platform.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

Fourier404 (1129107) | more than 5 years ago | (#24957003)

First, most mainstream games were multi-platform, except for consoles where there was a lot of exclusives....Finally, as for your comment that "porting" is a waste of time, it really depends on your point of view. In a way, porting means you can reuse a lot of the same and make a full new product for another customer.

But if you don't have to port in the first place you have more time to spend on the game itself.

Second, if you compare the same game for the Amiga, the Atari ST, the C64 and the PC, you will realize that most used the full potential of each machine. The lowest common denominator thing is what happens now, because suits who want to squeeze every pennies out of anything basically took over the whole gaming industry.

You forgot to mention that utilizing the full potential of multiple systems today is much more difficult than it was when everything was 10 times less complicated.

Sure, for the company, it would have been better if everyone had the exact same computer (the same way it would be better for car parts maker if everyone had the exact same car), but during those time it was the consumer who was the king, not the shareholders.

If nobody installed or uninstalled programs from their computer once they bought it, just as few people modify the components in their cars, then your analogy would hold up. Since that's not the case, and people with different computers expect to be able to use the same programs, having standards (read: monopolies) at certain levels benefits both the consumer and the companies at higher levels.

That is, of course, as long as the monopoly isn't being abused, and I still have to figure out how to fix that problem. Perhaps if a single open source distro of Linux was dominant we'd get somewhere, but branching off is inevitable in that scenario.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

William Baric (256345) | more than 5 years ago | (#24958141)

Today's PC games have to be made for a lot of different hardware. If you look at benchmarks, you'll see that the same game, using the same options (mainly video options), can easily range from 5 to 100 FPS depending on hardware. Yet developers have to make sure that the person with the slow computer can still play the game fine. Of course, those options are mostly video, but you also have options with sound and input devices. In a way, this is the same as porting from a design point of view.

Anyway, there is a lot of games that are for PC, XBox, PS3. Big titles will even be available for the Wii and handhelds. So basically, the porting problem is almost the same now as it was 20 years ago. (And don't forget that you also have to localize the game, which cost a lot of money, probably more than porting a game from one hardware to another)

The key problem of porting is not time, it's cost. The people who port are not the same as the one who design the game. In a world where there would be only 1 gaming platform instead of the 4 or 5 that there is now, games would still be the same. The only benefit for the gamer could be a slightly lower price (and that's not even sure since prices are not directly related to cost).

Your second point, saying that it is much more difficult to use the full potential of today's system, is simply not true. It takes more resources, but it's not more difficult. In fact, it's the complete opposite. Today, most of the game is done by artists, not programmers, and they use tools that take care of everything. They create hi-res graphics, and use their tools to downgrade the quality. That's what porting is about. Even programmers use libraries that take care of everything. There is only a handful of programmers (the ones making the engines) who really have to think about different hardware from a programming point of view. As most games will license an engine from someone else, it's obvious porting is not as much of a deal as it was in the 80s for game makers.

BTW, because of a particular project, I'm learning VB 2008 with WPF. The truth is programming with this is incredibly compared to programming a 6502 in assembly and doing everything by hand. In fact, I barely call that programming, it's more designing than programming. I know I will sound like a "get off my lawn" type, but programming today requires a lot less skills than 25 years ago.

Finally, my analogy was not about the gamer, but the manufacturer. Few people modify the components in their cars, but the point is there is a lot of people with different cars. That means that manufacturer must create a lot of parts, that do the exact same thing, simply to fit with the different cars. I need to change my air filter. When I go to my local car parts dealer, the fact is there are dozens of different models. They are all basically the same thing, but with different size, shapes and specifications. It certainly would be simpler for the manufacturer to have only one model to make. Same thing with computer hardware.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24962495)

First, most mainstream games were multi-platform, except for consoles where there was a lot of exclusives....Finally, as for your comment that "porting" is a waste of time, it really depends on your point of view. In a way, porting means you can reuse a lot of the same and make a full new product for another customer.

But if you don't have to port in the first place you have more time to spend on the game itself.

Developing for cross platform compatiblity is not terribly difficult. I'm not saying it isn't without cost (compilers, testing, support, marketing, etc...) but technically developers can write code independent of the underlying OS if they plan it from the start.

You forgot to mention that utilizing the full potential of multiple systems today is much more difficult than it was when everything was 10 times less complicated.

Anything to backup the claim of "10 times"?

Re:Multiplatform (1)

Fourier404 (1129107) | more than 5 years ago | (#24964197)

Anything to backup the claim of "10 times"?

Somebody mentioned that development teams back then consisted of 3 people, whereas today it's often 30 or more. For the big budget games it can get into the 100s. As for the rest of your post, while porting can be done efficiently, it often isn't, and things would be easier if nobody had to think about it in the first place. If Java became a viable language for high end games, perhaps things would be different.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24965041)

As for the rest of your post, while porting can be done efficiently, it often isn't, and things would be easier if nobody had to think about it in the first place. If Java became a viable language for high end games, perhaps things would be different

If you think about it, how far would the earliest computer system have come along if there hadn't been competitors to it? It almost sounds as though you want a single operating system or a VM that runs inside of multiple operating systems. Either of these situations doesn't sound very good for the industry to continue inovating. A bit of competition is good, even if it creates a bit more work.

As for the "10 times", I realize development teams have gotten larger but is it to utilize the CPU/GPU/disk space more fully or is it because they can add more content (i.e. be more creative).

Re:Multiplatform (1)

rk (6314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24957581)

Jeez, bite my head off, why don't you? So sorry I intruded.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#24956017)

That didn't happen that much. Though there is a direct parallel to the current system war. the 360 is making the ps3s advantages meaningless since games are made for both systems. In computers however its not as big a deal since there isnt A mac and a pc. Also nothing is close to as proprietary, they can share alot of the basics to increase speed greatly.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

SuperMonkeyCube (982998) | more than 5 years ago | (#24955439)

Did the game that ran faster on WINE use OpenGL? Any other clues as to why it might happen occasionally that way as opposed to the other?

Anyway, I'll admit I'm a Linux newbie, since I've only run knoppix and Ubuntu a little - and I mostly had a knoppix boot CD around to fix busted Windows machines. I'm pleased with how my Ubuntu 8 machine runs now, and I've been thinking about getting some flavor of Quake running on it, just to make sure I know how to get it to go. Surely waiting for Google to do in-browser games can't be the only way for Linux to make inroads with the gamer community. Purely based on my limited personal experience with only two Linux flavors, I would have to think that games should run a lot faster on a Linux box just because of the lower system overhead (which is what I think you're getting at). Knowing that, why haven't more gamers rallied for Linux versions? Is it purely the difficulty of the install that would keep developers away? I know it's not assets, so that narrows it down to executables and libraries. After a while, publishers would amass a lot of the libraries they would need, so then it's just compiling more than one executable at that point. Right?

Seriously, this perplexes me. If Linux makes for a faster machine with the same hardware, what's the holdup? I don't know if 'Google to the Rescue' is the answer.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24962665)

why haven't more gamers rallied for Linux versions?

It comes down to limited resources and applying them to the platform where you'll see enough of a return for the investment. Linux for gaming is in a catch 22. You won't see major game development until the platform has enough users, and the platform won't have enough users without the games (not taking into account other uses of course).

Re:Multiplatform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24957019)

Gotta stick my oar in here- Whenever the old 'will this game run on Linux' question is asked, a bunch of, er, people weigh in with a load of pro-microsoft ranting.

At least it provides a nice deviation from the norm of anti-Microsoft ranting. The same, uhh, "people", who don't seem to realize that the whole FOSS thing of giving people a choice means some people are going to choose Microsoft, and don't deserve to be berated for having a personal preference.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#24961431)

Except that, unfortunately, most people don't 'choose' microsoft... can't choose if you don't know the alternatives.

Re:Multiplatform (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 5 years ago | (#24966431)

I've played the same game, same settings, on both XP and via WINE, with higher FPS on the latter (though the other way around is more usual). Surely this should tell you something?...

I'd like to know which game, because as soon as I see "more FPS in WINE than XP" I automatically think "LIAR".

Now if you have an example, I'd be happy to believe it without further evidence, so I can rant later about the morons who can't even program games that run at least as well on WINE as on XP.

I though they already where (1)

Gates82 (706573) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953025)

I thought we used google as a game already. How about driving pages to the top of a search result, or crashing specific companies stock? The list goes on and on. Perhaps google search should have "shall we play a game" next to "I'm feeling lucky".

--
So who is hotter? Ali or Ali's Sister?

GoOS: The Definitive Operating System!!! (1)

gaetanomarano (968650) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953055)

my (similar) question is: WHAT may happen if Google will offer SOON its (Windows Vista and OSX compatible) 100% FREE "GoOS"? maybe, something like this: http://newgoos.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:GoOS: The Definitive Operating System!!! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953705)

# NO online and offline advertising, NO virus, NO spyware, NO software or user registration, everything is FREE!

Yeah right.. no advertising? From google? I mean it is possible if they base everything on a Linux distro, but basically the whole idea is pure pie in the sky wishfulness atm. Google doesn't need their own OS because they are mostly web based. I'm not saying they won't do it eventually, and I think them making their own browser shows that they are taking the actual platform being used to run their apps more seriously, but they still don't have much reason to make an actual OS.

I was going to say it would be like a games company making its own OS, but of course there are such things as consoles, so perhaps eventually we'll have Google computers and OSes :)

BTW I'd happily pay for a Google OS if 1) it was a good OS and 2) it meant no frickin advertising. At the moment I use Mac OS with XP in a VM, and a PS3 for 99.9% of my gaming time.

Re:GoOS: The Definitive Operating System!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24954347)

yes, they must say "no adverising" to win the OS battle... then, could add it later in the release 3.0 :)

They've got the Cash... (1)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953137)

But they'd seriously have lost all focus if they did become a publisher. They probably would be the next Yahoo.

Realistically, they'll probably sell advertising to video game publishers. Lots of companies have tried this and done it quite poorly. Google might be able to do it better.

they will hype the threading model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24953199)

every bullet is a new process, so if you shoot and one bullet crashes, it will not affect other bullets, they will astroturf the feature all over the internet from the massage room... truth is, the game will be crap.

Yes and No (2, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953255)

A good game has a good concept, content, gameplay and eye candy. What Google has is just eye candy, and from a gamer's perspective it's not even very good eye candy.

They are not really any closer to being a game publisher than any other company, though they can throw a lot of cash at the problem to get there. If they want to publish games, I am sure they can make that happen. Whether they'll be succesfull games is anyone's guess.

Re:Yes and No.. IF they take a page or two from (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24954379)

Cyworld...

If they look at CyWorld:

http://us.cyworld.com/ [cyworld.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyworld [wikipedia.org]
http://www.squidoo.com/cyworld [squidoo.com]

Or, for those of you who can speak Hankuk, or have Korean ID/work authorization, you can set up an account and check out the Korea-focused CyWorld

www.cyworld.co.kr

Google might decide they could "animate" the data search. Make it interactive. If you say, search on ships, then instead of you wading through links, they'd present you with icons or images of several eras or types of ships, and then you click on them, as if going through an Easter-egg hunt. Meta tags would associate the era-based icons to the likely data you're searching for. A sort of connect-the-dots approach could make searching more fun, less stressful, and remove some of the element of "zombie/opportunistic/"I-feel-lucky" types of mad-dash searching.

Users could set up their "library" or "den" and search from there. Google could come up with an analog to CyWorld's "Acorns"... Maybe "poppy seeds"...

Re:Yes and No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24955233)

Game publishers need money and some sort of supply chain. They need the ability to mass produce, distribute and market the content. They don't need to create it. Sounds like Google meets the criteria.

The creation of content falls to game developers. Most publishers own a game development studio or two (or thirteen), but the relationship is really not that different from the relationship between book publisher and author.

Google just needs to make sure the game doesn't suck and they'll have no problem making it as a game publisher.

Re:Yes and No (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 5 years ago | (#24981263)

A good game has a good concept, content, gameplay and eye candy. What Google has is just eye candy, and from a gamer's perspective it's not even very good eye candy.

Google isn't a content provider, they provide services. I think if Google is really going into game development, they'll be writing engines and frameworks for others to use, and others (companies, fans) will develop the actual storylines and gameplay.

And Google will analyse which games people play, and how they play them, and figure out some way to make money from that data.

Ofcourse the engines will be open source and work on every platform. Or perhaps they'll be in javascript.

Next up gSteam! (3, Interesting)

faloi (738831) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953373)

I could see Google doing some sort of distribution mechanism like Steam, only having bucketloads more cash to throw around to get publishers to adopt to them as a delivery mechanism.

Depend of the kind of game (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953635)

Most google products can have some edge related to improving search or finding (sometimes new) relevant information. For some games that have no meaning.

But a "game" that somewhat takes, improves and enables you to interact with real-world info, in a fun way, could fit in that scheme.

Re:Depend of the kind of game (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#24956543)

Sez who? Why with Google Earth:World of WarCraft edition, you can search for the nearest Gold Miners and Exp Exercisers and subcontract your boring work to them. And with Google Spy Satellite: WOW edition, you can keep tabs on your partners to make sure they're not having WOWSex.

Snow Crash (4, Interesting)

darkvizier (703808) | more than 5 years ago | (#24953905)

I wouldn't say games, per se. But I definitely see google having interest in creating an online simulated world, ala Second Life, or more ambitiously, Snow Crash. If they are the ones to make something like that a reality, they could see immense business growth and climb far above any 'competition'.

Re:Snow Crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24956043)

Umm - have you heard of Google Lively? It was mentioned in the blurb... it's Google's Second Life clone. So, yes - they are interested in an online simulated world... in fact, it's already out there.

Pussy Nazi Sez (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24954457)

No pussy for YOU!

Some days Slashdot just makes me weep (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#24954483)

This sounds like a fun game... can I play too?

Google's should get into the business of ...

  • ... Operating Systems
  • ... Video Games
  • ... Election machines
  • ... Hybrid Vehicles
  • ... Hookers
  • ... Blackjack

Some days Slashdot just makes me weep for the future of the planet...

Re:Some days Slashdot just makes me weep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24955125)

Don't forget fast food, school supplies, and cable providers.

Re:Some days Slashdot just makes me weep (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 5 years ago | (#24955343)

i was scrolling down just scanning stuff and i went back and re-read this cause originally i thought you had written

"Some days Slashdot just makes me weep for the future of my pants..."

Re:Some days Slashdot just makes me weep (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 5 years ago | (#24979889)

Google's should get into the business of ...
[x] Operating Systems
[ ] Video Games
[x] Election machines
[ ] Hybrid Vehicles
[ ] Hookers
[ ] Blackjack

Google's savvy is such that I expect they could make (or implement) and (more importantly) lobby for election machines that don't suck. It'd be better than the muppets at Premier Election Solutions (Diebold).

Google's OS would be interesting... not sure I want it, but they think about computing in a Different Way (due to scale) than many of us do, and that could be good for OS innovations.

Already funding games via GSoC (4, Informative)

morrison (40043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24955219)

Google is already a direct investor in games by funding open source gaming projects in the Google Summer of Code. Those participating this year included BZFlag, Battle for Wesnoth, Second Life (Linden Labs), Thousand Parsec, WorldForge, and ScummVM.

That roughly amounts to Google directly funding about 8 staff-years of development effort into open source gaming this year. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.

You can see some of the results from BZFlag's participation last year at http://my.bzflag.org/gsoc/BZGSoC2007.pdf [bzflag.org]

8-man years will get you... (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 5 years ago | (#24956067)

... about, hmm, about two Bejeweled clones, one-third to one-fourth of a Nintendo handheld strategy game, or a wing of an instance in WoW.

A titanic presence in the gaming industry 8 man-years is not. (It also vanishes into Google's petty-cash budget. Compare it to, say, Microsoft's spending on gaming. OK, that was unfair. Compare it to the US Army's spending on gaming. OK, that was unfair too. Compare it to, say, the flash games produced under a Department of Education grant for who can best teach the concept "hurricanes are destructive events" to 7 year olds. That's about the right ballpark.)

Re:8-man years will get you... (1)

morrison (40043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24957859)

There's no claim that it is a titanic presence, but GSoC isn't a one-off payment or investment of effort either. Unlike most of the things you're comparing to, these open source projects aren't going away, already have a well-established presence with an active community, and the investment does make a positive impact. Also, GSoC is an annual program that's been going on for four years now and you're comparing to multiple year efforts.

America's Army cost roughly $6M-8M over 3 years of development which, at least at government contracting rates with overhead, equates to a ballpark of about 10-15 staff-years effort per year with roughly half that going to actual software development expense. The fact that Google is even close to that number and is specifically funding just developers and their open source projects is VERY commendable. The only "downside" from a product perspective is that the investment is spread out over multiple projects instead of a single product so development timelines are longer. But big freaking deal. It's free money for those projects that is put to very good use, helps students get into open source software development, and infuses those communities with new ideas and new developers.

To top that off, those 6 gaming projects are in a pool of about 175 other projects. That quickly becomes a hell of a lot more than petty-cash, especially as the program continues year after year and has grown 10-20% ever year.

Needs a Chrome finish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24956997)

It doesn't run in Chrome.

Just sayin'

Already have a flight simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24960623)

There already is a flight simulator in google earth very basic yes but still fun to toy with all you have to do is open google earth and then prss either CRTL+ALt+2

or it might be
Alt+Shift+2
check it out it is pretty neat

MMORPG is about the only one that makes sense (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24962391)

Why? Because the next BIG mmorpg that really has a change to rival WoW is going to need a massive amount of investment AND tech resources that only a few companies could really muster. IBM, Google, perhaps MS. IBM because it already does the back end for MMORPG's and got the know-how for big servers handling massive tasks and running a trully massive MMORPG with all its transactions is remarkably similar to the requirements of its current business products.

Google because they again, know how to build a massive system to deal with many users at the same time, granted they know very little about 3d or indeed windows programming, but they would have the money to do it.

MS certainly knows windows (well you would hope so at least) and they got the money, they just would need to seriously buff up on the server end.

But why would any of them do such a thing? Sure, WoW makes good money but it is the only MMORPG to do so, all the others are finacial failures their revenue of no intrest to any large company.

Google has no experience whatsoever with games, at least MS and IBM make a lot of their money in that industry, Google doesn't.

They might make a simple game based on google earth but it will never be more then an edutainment type title. A true triple A title from Google? Unlikely, they got the money and knowhow to do a MMORPG server setup and could buy the 3d knowledge, but they don't know gaming, never dabbled in it and their real revenue is from advertising, and advertising in games is yet to take off.

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