Google is working on its own native app with similar functionality to Game Center for iOS, according to a source familiar with the matter for Business Insider. The app will replicate several features of Game Center, including a social achievement system, which awards trophies and points for completing in-game tasks, and a leaderboard for seeing how your high scores stand up against your friends.
Android developers currently resort to a myriad of different third-party social gaming platforms for implementing high scores and achievements into their apps, but the success of mobile gaming on the iPhone has changed Google’s perspective. The search engine giant now understands that it is vital for Android to have a native social gaming app akin to Game Center to stay competitive in the bursting mobile games market.
“They are starting to really understand all of the needs and wants to make a game really successful,” an industry source close to developers told us. “As recently as even a year ago, that really wasn’t part of their institutional DNA, But I think they’re getting there.”
It is likely that this Game Center equivalent for Android would be integrated closely with the Google+ social network, in which users would sign in with their Google-based online identity. Google’s chief executive Larry Page has been pushing employees to strengthen the ties between Google products, and this integration would certainly fulfill that initiative.
Google is also said to be working on an easier payment system for Google Play to become more competitive with the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Android developers currently earn less money than their Apple counterparts, and the ease of purchasing apps — or lack thereof — is a contributing reason to that statistic. It is unknown when Google will launch their social gaming app for Android, and a company spokesperson refused to comment on the matter.