Google I/O 2013: Google Play Game Services confirmed; achievements, leaderboards, cloud saves, multiplayer

Google I/O 2013: Google Play Game Services confirmed; achievements, leaderboards, cloud saves, multiplayerGoogle Play Game Services was rumoured at the weekend, and now it’s become a reality – thanks to Google I/O 2013 in San Fran.

In a nutshell, Google Play Game Services is Googs’ answer to Apple’s Game Center, though the former doesn’t function as a standalone app. Indeed, the backend functionality is largely compatible with iOS and the web.

As I crammed into the headline, Google Play Game Services arrives as a four-pronged assault, offering achievements (to "increase engagement and promote different styles of play"), leaderboards, cloud saves (for progress and settings) and multiplayer.

Interestingly, some games have already embraced Google Play Game Services, including World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.

More interestinger still, new APIs allow additional in-game checks to confirm if the game has been legitimately purchased from Google Play, though it’ll still be “up to developers to do the actual policing”.

Like Game Center, Google Play Game Services won’t be mandatory. Gameloft springs to mind as one developer that typically stays away from Game Center.

More from Google I/O 2013 as it happens. Well, I say "as it happens", but it'll more likely be in the morning, as we're away to bed now.

Read more about: AndroidiOS

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