Google planned to build a gaming eco-system, confidential docs reveal

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One of the things that came out of the discovery process in the Epic Games vs Apple lawsuit is a 70-page vision document from Google called “Games Futures”. This “explicitly confidential” file apparently reveals Google’s five-year plan to create “the world’s largest games platform”. The plan included targeting gamers not just on Android but on Windows and Mac as well and releasing a portable game controller that gamers could have used with any device including smart TVs. What we don’t know is if they will still push through with this ambitious plan.

Based on the parts that weren’t redacted, the plan was for the games to be published on Android, Windows, and Mac and to be playable on various devices including phones, tablets, desktops, smart displays, smart TVs so basically all screens. There was to have been game controller support as well for all of them. The gaming experience were to include in-game presence, event platform, cross-platform discovery, and cross-catalog content bundles.

The Verge though says that this may not actually reflect Google’s true direction when it comes to gaming. Some of the early slides had things like “Brought to you by ‘partially funded’ and ‘i have a dream’ productions”. There’s also the fact that Google actually stopped the operations of Google Stadia, its original game studios. The document was supposed to have been released in October 2020 so we don’t know what happened since then.

The plan also mentions turning the Play Games brand as an “indie game destination”. They were going to bring 100 of the best Android games to the PC platform and let developers support controllers and multiple platforms. There are a lot of ambitious things in the document, including a mandate for minimum prices in order to bring “super-premium” games to their planned games platform.

If it’s true that Google’s first step was to bring “emulated, native and streamed games” to Windows, this may not be so impossible. Recently, Microsoft said that Android apps are will be coming to Windows 11, although Amazon’s Appstore is their initial partner. So while some are skeptical that this gaming empire will actually happen, there are pieces of the puzzle that have started moving already if that’s still the plan.

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