While it is no surprise that Google has been buying up companies and as of late companies dealing with social gaming but there really hasn’t been much said as to whether Android will see any benefit. In our previous article about Google’s latest purchase of Jambool (Social Gold) that we could see the Freemium business model becoming acceptable on the Android market.
To get more details on the purchase of Jambool who’s product, Social Gold, is a popular in-game currency payment solution rivaling the recently announced Facebook Credits I suggest reading our previous article on the actual buy-out. I suggested that this buy-out of Jambool could lead to seeing it integrated into Google Checkout which could lead to Freemium games being possible on the Android market. Currently right now Google does not support in-game purchasing although that could be changing.
Google recently held a “Think Gaming” summit and Lazard Capital Markets’ Colin Sebastian was there and although some things he saw were under a non-disclosure act he does mention some things Google looks to be cooking up with all these purchases and it seems Android will be getting some love after all.
“We would point out that, to date, Google Checkout has seen limited success; however, the combination of Android platform growth (currently the fastest growing smartphone) and the Android Market — the biggest current rival to the App Store (which has generated $1.3B in gross revenue to date) — provide a key point of leverage,” writes Sebastian in a new note.
“We anticipate that the Android Market could over time eclipse the App Store, as eventually the sheer numbers of the market will pull developers to the platform,” he suggests. “As this happens, having the premier spot at the point of ‘checkout’ could prove to be a key advantage.”
He goes on to mention that Google’s browser, Chrome, is also going to see some love with all these purchases as Google plans to open up a Chrome Web Store:
“We expect that games will be a key component of this strategy, since online casual gaming is one of the fastest-growing sectors online ($800M in revenue in 2009),” the analyst says. “Incorporating Google Checkout in the Chrome Web Store could accelerate online game adoption by improving game discovery; a central part of the App Store’s success is attributable to the centralized nature of the store.”
So even though the “Think Gaming” summit wasn’t completely about Android it is obviously that some discussion was had as to Android and it’s state of gaming along with the Android market and one of the possibilities would be integrating Social Gold into Google Checkout. If this were to happen which it seems much more of a possibility then speculation now then that would mean we could start seeing Fremium games landing on the Android market while others convert to that business model.
So perhaps Google does have a plan after all regarding some improvements to Android gaming. The question is should this be where they need to focus their attention right now regarding Android gaming or should it be elsewhere first?
Website Referenced: Gamasutra