Google Hires Developer Advocate For Games, Is Google Games Next?

googlogoGoogle just recently hired Mark DeLoura, a games industry veteran, as its “Developer Advocate for Games”. In this role, his responsibility is likely to help work with games companies and games teams that create games for the Android and OpenSocial platforms, although a formal job description has not been released. Could this lead to Google partnering with game teams to publish premiere games?

Mark is talking about his move over at his blog, and seems excited about the potential to engage in the games business as a representative of Google and their platforms. He’s only just begun, but this blog could perhaps be a good way to get some inside information as to what Google’s plans are. While working with Electronic Arts, my team and I had the opportunity to work with Google on several of their platform initiatives including OpenSocial and iGoogle, and saw a company passionate about creating great game content for their users. With the recent success of games, we’ve seen all the platforms step up to highlight them as a prime source of entertainment for their users: Facebook has a Games Dashboard, Apple just announced a Games initiative and now Google is moving in as well. Mark made some comments about the new role and games at Google on his blog, with an excerpt below:

Those of you who know me know that I’ve always been a huge advocate for lowering the barrier to entry for game development. I want games easier to make, less expensive and time-consuming to create, and simpler to distribute. These are goals that may never be completely achieved, but by continually striving for them we learn what needs to be done to encourage more voices, and to accelerate the growth of the art form.

I’ve always felt that Google thinks of web developers the way I think of game developers. Aside from being extremely committed to open source, Google creates many of its products with open APIs, so they can be easily extended by developers to add functionality. And the company really does encourage its internal developers to spend 20% of their time working on their own ideas. Some great products have come out of the passions of developers working during their 20% time! The idea of Google leveraging its strengths in web technology, bringing tools and services to massive numbers of people around the world, plus its over-arching friendliness toward developers – that gets me extremely excited about what it can do with the game developer community.