Google game adoption a 'strategic necessity' - Analyst

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian says search giant's move to support industry is vital to staying competitive with Facebook.

by

Google has made a number of overtures toward the gaming industry within the past month. In early July, reports surfaced that Google had committed $100 million to $200 million to Farmville creator Zynga, a cornerstone to Facebook's online casual games sector. Two weeks later, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was actively courting a number of casual game developers for its rumored Facebook-competing social networking service, Google Me.

Sebastian believes Google's eye must turn to games.

Into August, and Google hosted a full-blown Think Gaming summit, an analyst event in which the search-engine giant outlined the areas where it saw opportunities in the gaming space. And while the contents of that presentation remain under lock and key, event attendee and Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian did offer some insight into Google's position on gaming.

Sebastian believes that a gaming push from Google presents a solid opportunity to drive growth for the company's smartphone OS Android, Web browser Chrome, and online purchasing hub Google Checkout. In particular, the search giant would most benefit from the social component of these casual games, where users could easily be lured to the company's various other products. Sebastian said that he also expects Google to launch an App Store within the Chrome browser.

The industry analyst also believes that a wider adoption of games by Google will help the search giant stave off the growing threat of Facebook, which itself is seeking a head of game industry relations. Sebastian went so far as to call the adoption of games a "strategic necessity" for Google, saying 40 percent of the time the some 500 million users of Facebook spend on the site is used to play games.

Discussion

43 comments
VarietyMage
VarietyMage

This is just rampant capitalism at its worst. They try to acquire the most profitable franchises and make them Google-exclusive, and the franchises die due to delays, incompatibilities, and eventually the cutting of 100% of the studio staff to make the games division more efficient. But seriously...this is a stupid idea. Sing it with me: Farmville Man, Farmville Man, Farmville Man hates Google Farm, when they meet, Google Farm wins, Farmville Man... @Google: Stay the hell out of the games industry. One EA is bad enough. @Facebook: Get the hell out of the games industry. People could be playing (and thereby financially supporting the shops that make) better games than yours.

Arker101
Arker101

@deathstream But I like Apple and Gamefly as well... wait... Nooo! It's already begun! Game Over man! Game Over!

asimplerapper
asimplerapper

i would have to be in shock if google starts making films O.o

fillup0
fillup0

Google has done very well with everything they have attempted so far, their web browser soars above the rest, the search engine is still the best, sketchup is a great application and there are more. I am not sure about gaming though...

icepop4who
icepop4who

Next, your lunch meat is made by Google.

MW2GhoST
MW2GhoST

and next will be consoles... as far as I am concerned google can stay far, far away from anything even remotly looking like a game. All they need is a foot hold in a section of the industry and then they expand to where all the money is. Not to mention, google can't even keep all their servers safe (China) which is the foundation of their company, so why should we expect them to add anything positive to the already over populated game development industry? Oh, and let the negative comments fly, I am sure I'll get a ton of them lol

twistedmalice
twistedmalice

I would like to see where google takes this.

TheBatFreak777
TheBatFreak777

I fear the day when we see signs that read "Google for President." lol

deathstream
deathstream

@Arker101 They have gotten into politics and we are f.... Google and Verizon have teamed up to press the FCC to abandon the prinicpal of net neutrality when it comes to wireless networks. They could control the flow of information we receive if they are allowed to succeed. I like a lot of what Google does, but they pulled a 180 on this one in a power grab. As for the casual gaming thing, everybody is buying one these days. Apple is adding Game Center to iOS 4.0 soon. Disney just bought at least one casual gaming company. GameFly integrated their casual gaming site into their main site. Sony is doing Minis. I think it is a fad and Facebook gaming will be replaced by ultra-casual Twitter gaming. And then Twitter games will be replaced by something even shorter until eventually we just log into a site that implants the memory of having played a fun, short game.

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

I want to see they make games for Android. And that it'll be compatible with the upcoming PlayStation Phone.

King-gamer
King-gamer

Video games is taking over the world. Google wants to be part of it for the money. No surprise.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Games is the smart way to go, I really like Google they seem to be a "perfect" company.

The-Techspert
The-Techspert

At the moment, I think google is probably one of the only company that could actually wrest control of social networking from Facebook, maybe even the only one. What's my number 1 complaint about Facebook? Awful search engine. And what does google do?

jaredcrazy3232
jaredcrazy3232

smart move google, if facebook wants to shut u out, buy out farmville and then force facebook to deal with you. lets face it marky mark knows its casual games are a huge chunk that is "facebook"

okassar
okassar

Games are part of the world, Google wants to take over the world, Google goes after game industry logical

x_Xarion_x
x_Xarion_x

Too bad it's just casual games, google entering into the console market would be something very interesting.

K-Grogg
K-Grogg

@ ChkChk_boom Not really, Google recently stealthily set a court precedent allowing them to basically own any written works created by anyone. They're also teaming up with Verizon to gain direct control over sites you can see on wireless networks. I love their search engine, but they also scare the shjt out of me.

Link_Destined_1
Link_Destined_1

As long as Google stays away from consoles, they can do whatever they want.

ichc1000x
ichc1000x

This looks like it'll work...

ChkChk_boom
ChkChk_boom

Better Google running the world than Activision...

d3nyd
d3nyd

Personal opinions aside, if there's one company that can make huge waves in whatever it is they choose to do, it would certainly be Google. Personal opinions not aside, if there was a huge company that got into gaming this late in the race, I would be very thankful and relieved that it would be Google. They're not the Bad Big Brother type of company like EA is trying to shake off and Activison is currently embodying. I eagerly look forward to anything more coming out of it.

deycallmefigo
deycallmefigo

Google is one of the most creative, flexible and fastest growing businesses in the world. Shifting their focus to multiple strategic targets could cause various organizational challenges. I hope they get what they want; they're a prime example of a modern or even post-modern dynamic management school

reeree746
reeree746

@cjasko94 You are a very negative person, aren't you? In all seriousness, Youtube never has ads more than 30 seconds long. Just sit through them...it really isn't THAT bad. How else is Youtube going to make money? Google really didn't "ruin" Youtube either. It's still an Internet powerhouse that gets over a BILLION video views a day...

Dan21278
Dan21278

In fact I can't think of day I didn't use google lol.

Moloch121
Moloch121

Did anyone see Demolition Man with Sylvester Stallone? Every restaurant was named Taco Bell in the future. Well our future everything will be named Google...

Arker101
Arker101

First Games, then movies, music, TV, and once they get to politics, we are f-ed.

sagelund
sagelund

@Vengeancekael Is saying "your mom" really all that great of a way to prove your point? Google didn't kinda screw youtube with all the advertisements, but that's about all they did. So he's pretty right on this subject, but google is pretty much god of the internet, so I guess they have the right...

Dan21278
Dan21278

Sad thing is how Google can take over the world. lol I mean i use Google multiple times during the day.

athenian29
athenian29

@rmj540 That was always their goal. The only difference is that they're doing it by giving people stuff they actually want.

insanitycheck4
insanitycheck4

they are not competing with facebook, i believe they are more aiming at apple/iphone

nomoreguitars
nomoreguitars

I swear by Google this sacred oath: That I shall render unconditional obedience to Eric Schmidt Chief executive officer of the Google empire and it's people, Supreme commander of the Google forces, And that I shall at times be ready, as a brave Google warrior, to give my life for this oath... HEIL GOOGLE

deathstream
deathstream

Hard to care since Google went "Evil" and joined with Verizon in opposing net neutrality. It is always sad when a great company gets so big that it abandons its core values that drew people to it in the first place.

rmj540
rmj540

oh no Google is taking over the world lol.

Vengeancekael
Vengeancekael

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

Cool I guess. Can't see any harm coming from it.

cjasko94
cjasko94

Google ruined YouTube, what's next

green_dominator
green_dominator

So long as GOOGLE stays in the casual games market and doesn't try to invade console gaming they can do whatever they want. The only Google service I use is Youtube and even then it's at a minimum.

Yajarobi
Yajarobi

I'm not entirely sure what this will lead to. But I like google and will support it!

y0ur_grandma
y0ur_grandma

What I find so amazing in Google is that they became so big from something so little.