Is Google entering the social games market?

Summary:A recent job posting indicates that Google is entering the world of social browser-based video games best exemplified by time-suckers like Farmville and Mafia Wars.

A recent job posting for a "Product Manager, Games" indicates that Google is entering the world of social browser-based video games best exemplified by time-suckers like Farmville and Mafia Wars.

The ideal candidate, Google says, will help "design strategies for game distribution and discovery, player identity, game mechanics, and more."

Essentially, it sounds like they want someone to help launch the new, so-called Games at Google initiative with titles developed in-house, as well as forge key relationships with outside developers so the new platform hits the ground running.

Google also says that for the right candidate, "Interesting and impactful decisions involving social gaming, privacy, virality, business, and technical APIs await you."

In other words, not only do they want someone who can help make good games and come up with a solid business model - Google wants someone who can help their new games avoid the kind of privacy complaints that characterized trouble-filled product debuts like Google Buzz.

The timing isn't much of a wonder, either: Google recently broke 1 billion visitors in a month, but Facebook is still surging ahead in terms of time spent on the site. And the more time you spend in Google's ecosystem, the more ads they can show you for more revenue.

The only question remaining is whether or not Games at Google will be a browser-based or Android smartphone gaming platform. But smart money is probably on some combination of the two.

Topics: CXO, Google, IT Employment

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