The long-awaited arrival of Google in the games sector could almost be upon us with claims that the search giant is in talks with major publishers about game content for a new contender in the social networking space.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is negotiating with EA’s Playfish, as well as casual games specialist Zynga and Playdom, which was recently purchased by Disney.
It’s looking to get partners on board ahead of the launch of a games-orientated Facebook-style network, or a “YouTube for games”.
The proposition is especially pleasing for casual games developers as the sector is currently dominated by Facebook. A heavyweight rival would lessen this power and create a better platform from which content providers could position themselves.
It would also give them an alternative to Facebook’s 30 per cent commission rate that it demands from the sale of virtual goods on its platform.
Earlier this month it was reported that Google had invested as much as $100m in Zynga with the intention that the Mafia Wars and Farmville creator would form the base on which a new service, labelled then as Google Games, would be built.