The G+ Games platform now has a set of filters that highlight new games, top games, and “staff pick” games, underscoring just how divergent Google+’s approach is to games from Facebook’s.
While the criteria for the new games filter is clear — each of the games listed below arrived on the G+ platform in just the last month — the top games and staff pick filter criteria are bit more obscure. Top games is perhaps the most interesting, as we do not know if these are the games that are played the most, or the ones in which players spend the most money. Staff picks, meanwhile, is as ambiguous as the App Store’s “staff picks” — it could be one employee with a strong opinion, or a voting pool among a larger product team. In any case, the filters currently produce a mix of titles from major developers like Kabam and Rovio, as well as some games from smaller indie devs like Spry Fox. Interestingly, there are no Zynga games in staff picks or top games.
Since launch, Google+ has made it a point to confine games to their own tab in the main navigation bar of the social network. No game notifications or requests ever appear to G+ users unless they are viewing the Games tab. This has led some developers to worry that there won’t be much viral growth for games on the platform. Indeed, we observe that of all the games currently available, many already had established audiences on Facebook and mobile platforms.