Google Ramping Games Business - InformationWeek
Cloud // Cloud Storage
01:03 PM

Google Ramping Games Business

Discussions with online gaming companies and a job listing for a games project manager suggest Google is prepping its Facebook-competing social network.

Google's Oregon Data Center
(click image for larger view)
Google's Oregon Data Center
Google, long-rumored to be developing a competitor to Facebook, is reportedly in discussions with leading online gaming companies about providing games for its yet-to-be announced social networking site.

Google has approached Zynga, developer of Facebook heavyweights Farmville and Mafia Wars; Playdom, which Disney acquired this month for about $763 million; and Playfish, which Electronic Arts purchased in late 2009 for approximately $275 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. In May, Yahoo inked a deal with Zynga to distribute the game-maker's wares through its Yahoo games service.

Zynga, which reportedly already received a $200-million investment from Google earlier this year, is expected to earn revenue of $350 million for the first half of 2010 and is on track to hit the $1 billion mark in 2011.

Although Google has remained tight-lipped, the company is advertising a position for a "product management leader, games," at its Mountain View, Calif.-based offices. The job, posted on the company's U.S. jobs listing site, seeks someone with experience building an online gaming business on the web and mobile devices.

"The Product Management Leader, Games will be a flexible, results-oriented, and experienced senior leader who will be responsible for developing Google's games commerce product strategy and partnering to build and manage the business with a cross-functional team," the ad said. "You will have visionary product insight, combined with experience in the online content business, significant technical expertise, and extensive leadership and business skills. The Product Management Leader, Games combines a great instinct for developing compelling products with a strong focus on users and technical aptitude to work with a world class engineering team and the business sense to drive product goals and strategies."

More than 200 million people around the globe play casual games online, and spent $3 billion on this form of entertainment in 2009, according to the Casual Games Association. Developing games for social networking sites typically costs between $50,000 and $400,000, the association estimated.

The median spending on digital goods at social networking sites was $50, according to a new study conducted by VGMarket for PlaySpan. Overall, 32% of the 2,221 respondents made purchases within social networks, the survey found.

"The report demonstrates a number of significant trends and monetization opportunities available to both first-party publishers and third-party marketplaces through the sale of digital goods. Each type of digital good has a unique level of demand, and the amount of money that a consumer spends on digital goods continues to vary widely by genre," said Michael Gluck, president of VGMarket.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll