Google is looking for a Product Manager of Games (via Engadget), which appears to be a new project at the company. This isn't the first time we've heard that Google is interested in the gaming industry, but it's certainly the most detailed information we've seen to date.
The job posting in question specifically says that Games will be a new business for Google. It also notes that the company wants to develop a strategy for game distribution, discovery, player identity, game mechanics, and so on. The search giant won't be going at it alone ("key partnerships" will have to be made) and the overall plan is to make Games part of Google's (coming) social platform. In addition to working with early adopters, game developers, and gamers, the new hire will have the following responsibilities:
- Drive feature requirements for Google's gaming platform
- Work with business development and developer relations to drive gaming partnerships/ content deals
- Initiate and prioritize projects within engineering, assist in determining the best technical implementation methods, track product development, and develop product launch plans.
- Establish partnerships internally and externally to drive the growth of games
It's quite clear that Google's goal here is social gaming. We already know the search giant has Facebook in its crosshairs, and one of the industries that Facebook has revolutionized with its social platform is gaming. Remember when Farmville developer Zynga Game Network, which develops browser-based games that work both stand-alone and as application widgets on social networks like Facebook, was valued higher than Electronic Arts? Yes, that's the pie that Google wants a piece of.
As can be expected, Google will monetize its gaming initiative with Google Ads. Other than that, details on how exactly the new gaming platform will work are unclear. Google has not done well in social, but it has enough money to keep trying, and apparently the search giant believes gaming is worth a shot.