Can Gaming Fuel a Google Social Network?

According to a report published on TechCrunch, Google is looking to extend its presence in the online gaming sector, as it has ‘secretly’ invested more than $100 million in social gaming platform 

Zynga. It is also said that Google is planning to launch Google Games, built partly on Zynga, who is the creator of the popular Facebook games, such as Mafia Wars and FarmVille.

All of us know that Zynga and its 237 million monthly players make up a fairly big chunk of the social gaming market, and as said by Michael Arrington on TechCrunch, Google wants it. So Google is reportedly planning to launch its own Google Games platform, which might be a part of the company’s alleged Google Me social network.

None of the two companies are talking about this investment, as Arrington states, came straight from Google, and was a highly strategic deal. Zynga will allegedly be the basis of the entire platform, Google Games, giving Google a quick access to instant popularity in regards to the games it will be delivering to its users. Not only can Zynga provide Google with a solid base of social games to build on, it can also give the company a true social graph as users will log into Google to play the games. And there is a possibility for PayPal to be replaced with Google Checkout “as the primary payment option”. Well, Google has always been looking for ways to make Google Checkout more relevant, and obviously it’s been aware of Zynga being the PayPal’s biggest single customer. Google Checkout still remains a missed opportunity for the company, as it failed to market the service to consumers when it launched. Nevertheless, the service has a huge potential for Google if it can gain consumer adoption, because Zynga’s target audiences are vast. The partnership with Zynga can open a new channel for Google to advertise its Checkout service to those, who have had no need for any payment system in the past.

In conclusion, the presumable Google Games should offer a variety of potential benefits for both Zynga and Google, including more independence for the former from Facebook and a number of opportunities for the latter around payments and the social graph. We’ll just have to wait and see if any of these happen.

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