Earlier this week, word got out that Google was planning to launch some new features for Google Play games at Google I/O. The company did indeed unveil 'Google Play games services' today during its extremely long Google I/O keynote.
Previous rumors said we'd see match making, achievements, scoring and leaderboards, a whole lot of Google+ integration and save game syncs that allow you to access your saved games and settings across all of your devices. Today's announcement confirmed a lot of the rumored features and offered a little more information on these new features.
Rather than releasing Google Play games services as a standalone application (like Apple's GameCenter), Google Play games services is a pack of tools that developers can use to make their games more social. They'll be able to add achievements, leaderboards, multiplayer, and cloud saves. Google says leaderboards, cloud saves and achievements are compatible across iOS and Android, though multiplayer is an Android-only feature.
"These services help you make your games more social, with achievements, leaderboards, and multiplayer, as well as more powerful, storing game saves and settings in the cloud," said lead product manager Greg Hartrell. "They are available on Android, and many on iOS or any other connected devices. By building on Google’' strengths in mobile and cloud services, you can focus on what you’re good at as game developers: creating great gaming experiences for your users."
You can play games incorporating Google Play games services starting today. Google highlighted World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos in a blog post detailing game services.
Check out our other Google I/O coverage:
Live Blog: Tune in for Live Coverage of Google I/O 2013