Rumors that Google was preparing to establish itself in Android gaming was confirmed today when Google hired Noah Falstein as “Chief Game Designer” for Android Play Studio. This was verified by his LinkedIn profile and his Twitter. The only question now is what project does Google have him working on?
Thanks everyone for the good wishes about my new job. Much appreciated.
— Noah Falstein (@nfalstein) May 3, 2013
Falstein is a veteran game designer who’s worked in the industry for decades. He’s worked on everything from point and click games, arcades like ‘Sinistar’, ‘Battlehawks’ and adventure classics like ‘Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis’, ‘Indiana Jones and the last Crusade: The Graphic adventure and ‘Hungry Red Planet’. He’s also worked as a freelance design consultant to studios like Microsoft, LucasArts and Disney while serving on the Advisory Board for the Games for Health Conference and Serious Games Summit.
There are several possibilities for what Google may be intending. Most speculation seems to be that Google will be establishing an Android “game center”, a platform that will allow users to use chat, multiplayer, achievements, leaderboards and numerous other game features.
The other possibility is that Google is planning on making games for the Google Glass. This is a particularly compelling idea because one of Falstein’s projects was ‘Ingress‘ for Niantic Labs, a real time augmented reality MMO for Android. It’s possible that we could see a Google Glass augmented-reality game. As awesome as that would be, it doesn’t seem within the present capabilities of the Google Glass,
The games service probably has nothing to do with Google Glass; Glass can’t run complex apps. The Glass team accidentally shipped the full suite of Google Play Services with their new app, which is not normal. This included a never-before-seen backend for an extensive multiplayer gaming service, with just about every gaming feature you could possibly imagine.
Regardless, Google is up to something big involving Android multiplayer gaming so that can only be a good thing. Hopefully more will be leaked soon.
Interested in the Google Glass and Android games?