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Google product manager says unified gaming platform in the works, to arrive 'by next year'

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As VentureBeat reports, Google+ product manager Punit Soni suggested that Google plans to unify its various game platforms at the Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco.

Google Games
Google Games

While there's some data to suggest that Google+'s meager level of user engagement has stunted the social network's momentum in relation to its rivals, the company doesn't seem to be peeling back from its new social vision — as VentureBeat reports, Google+ product manager Punit Soni suggested that Google plans to unify its various game platforms. At the Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco, Soni said that "by next year, we will not be here talking about Google+ Games, Chrome Web Store games, Games for Native Client and Android games," but instead "we will be talking about Google games." It's not yet clear what that means for users or developers — there's no word on what technologies or methods Google will use to unify games across its platforms — but it appears that Google+ will be at the heart of the effort.

Soni says that Google has been working to refine the Google+ gaming platform since its launch, and that it will bring together Hangouts, Chrome's Native Client tech, and new notifications that promote games to friends, according to VentureBeat. The unification of Google's platforms for gaming, with Google+ at the center, would seem to make sense — the company has already unified its services in other ways recently, including the sharing of user data between Google services. And just yesterday, the company launched Google Play, which will become the single destination for all of the company's buyable content across mobile and browser experiences.

It's no surprise that Google is eyeing the success of competitors like Facbeook and Zynga, with Zynga — which provides a whopping 12% of Facebook's revenue — breaking out with its own game platform that launched just last week. We're not sure what Google will do to make its own unified game platform stand out from Facebook, Zynga, or even iOS, but something like Google's Native Client tech could give it an edge: Ubisoft just announced on March 5th that its critically acclaimed From Dust will be coming to Chrome in April. "We realize that gaming is at an interesting point in its evolution and we have technology and platforms to push it to the next level," Soni says. We'll have to wait and see if that "next level" is more engaging than Google+ has been on its own.