Google is developing a social gaming start-up called Arcade that is being led by Michael Sayman, the 21-year-old mobile application entrepreneur and software engineer that got his start at age 17 as a Facebook intern.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Arcade’s first app will debut this summer and feature trivia game elements. It won’t have any ties to existing social networks, sources say, adding that users will instead create accounts with their phone numbers. Regardless, Google is still considering it a social media investment because, as one source highlights, once a game gets to a certain size, it becomes somewhat of a social network in itself.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the existence of Arcade, telling the publication that it is focused on mobile gaming with friends. It’s a very early experiment at this point, the rep said, so there aren’t very many details to share.
Arcade is part of Area 120, an internal start-up incubator of sorts that allows Google employees to spend up to 20 percent of their time working on passion projects.
Sayman was hired by Google in August as a product manager for the Google Assistant team and is currently the youngest product manager at the search giant.
Sayman’s participation in the endeavor is somewhat significant. The young entrepreneur is perhaps best known for creating turn-based photo game 4 Snaps while still a junior in high school. He later went on to develop Lifestage, a video-centric social app for high school students.