Google ‘Games Future’ sees Android apps on Mac, Windows

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Google is infamous for launching multiple projects to accomplish what is more or less the same task. This practice extends to games, with court documents today revealing a “Games Future” focused on Android and Google Play that apparently runs alongside Stadia.

“Games Future” is an internal “Google Confidential” presentation that was made public following the Apple and Epic Games lawsuit. Spotted by The edge, it is dated October 2020 and was produced by the “Google Play” division. At a high level, it provides a roadmap of what the company wants to accomplish in gaming by 2025. In addition to taking a redacted/unspecified percentage of the lucrative $35-50 billion industry, he wants to “avoid erosion on mobile”.

Knowing the author of this document provides important context behind the focus on Android, the vision being to “provide the best platform for creating, discovering and experiencing games”. Google wants to be the place where developers publish their titles. In turn, it will make these games available on all of its platforms and devices.

On the “build” front, the company will offer “comprehensive development services for creating games.” This includes cloud services that facilitate hosting large tournaments and payment solutions like crowdfunding.

The “Discover” mast implies “the organization[ing] the game of the world:

Aggregate games from all providers, including game streaming, so you can always find games through Google and third parties.

It’s not too different from Google TV and what the Play Store does by connecting to various streaming services where you can find a movie. A mockup shows a hypothetical PUBG Google Play listing with links to the Android app and Stadia.

“The Experience” allows users to “play on any screen”. Google specifically has Android (mobile/emulated), Windows (native), and Mac (“with Play Services”) platforms in mind, while form factors include “phones, desktops, smart displays, [and] TVs with game controller support. As of this writing, Google has yet to detail its official plans to bring Android apps to Windows or Mac.

Much of this presentation is redacted, including a section on “Current cross-platform efforts.” However, one slide appears to show that “V1” of this effort includes bringing “the best of Android mobile games to PC”.

Bring our catalog and technology to more screens and platforms, including Google’s Ambient Computing Vision. Starting with Windows to distribute emulated, native and streamed games, with a universal portable gamepad at a low price.

This is currently targeting 100-125 titles, but the “next” step for Google is to “size the catalog” to around a thousand titles. He also wants the “MacOS extension” and “Windows Native”. Another step towards this is to create a “low cost” Bluetooth controller for all platforms while adding universal controller support to smart displays and TVs.

Google has yet to officially announce this effort, but the document references the Android 12 game dashboard and other ongoing developer updates.

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