August 06, 2011, 7:53 AM — Social gaming is big business for Facebook, and all signs point to Google's jumping into the social-gaming market with Google+. But can Google+ offer anything different (or better) than Facebook already does? We asked Kevin Chou, CEO of Kabam (Dragons of Atlantis, Kingdoms of Camelot), and Neil Haldar, executive producer for RocketNinja (Unstoppable Wrestling, Ocean Kingdom), about their first impressions of the gaming potential of Google+.
While both men were reluctant to speculate deeply about long-term plans for Google+ gaming (which is understandable, considering how little Google has said about social gaming or a developer API), they both noted that Circles could add a lot to future social games, especially since companies in the social-gaming business have things a little better figured out now than they did when Facebook Games launched. Read on for the full Q&A.
Kevin Chou, CEO, Kabam
What do you think of Google+ so far?So far we've been impressed by Google's implementation of Google+. Their ability to release a product that is pretty much at feature parity with Facebook at version 1 is quite a feat. They've done a good job beginning to integrate all their properties, and they've shown that they can create a quality, high-touch product with design in mind. We're looking forward to seeing how long-term consumer adoption and usage play out.
Do you believe Google+ will open doors to new kinds of social games we haven't seen (or haven't seen succeed) on Facebook?Google has not made any specific announcements regarding outside apps, including gaming. And, it's yet to be seen if hard-core or even casual social gamers will actively use the network to play games. So it's really too early to comment on games for Google+. We'll have to see how Google supports games and various communication tools as they continue to build. We'll be watching that keenly, and making sure that we're serving our playing customers across the right platforms.