The second day of GDC 2013 is starting and to kick things off Verizon has announced that they will be pre-loading a games portal style application onto future Android phones that are on the carrier. This games portal will be powered by their social mobile gaming hub and will apparently arrive on phones starting in Q3 2013.
The whole point for the games portal is to get developers to distribute their games to all of the Verizon customers through their own service and not so much through Google Play. This application does come with some benefits though for Verizon customers such as direct carrier billing and a social network that connects gamers across different platforms. Of course there is an SDK for developers to download and use should they want to take advantage of this.
If the name PlayPhone sounds familiar, that is because the company has actually released games onto Google Play themselves as well as their social mobile gaming platform application which you can download and check out for free. There is also an application that is an SDK demo for developers out there to check out.
While supporting game developers with additional methods to earn revenue and to get their games out to more people, adding additional applications that are pre-loaded onto a device might not be the best method. It should probably be an optional download/install instead of a pre-loaded application considering many people out there in Android land hate all the bloatware that comes with their devices these days.
Website Referenced: Android and Me