Google Targets Its Sights On Gaming, Hires Noah Falstein As Chief Game Designer

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News Posted: Sat, May 4 2013 1:41 PM
Google has its hands in every other aspect of the tech industry, so why not gaming, too? It appears as though the company is eyeing a run at the gaming market by hiring Noah Falstein as its “Chief Game Designer”.

Falstein’s LinkedIn profile has been updated to reflect his new title, which is the latest in a long career. He started out in 1980 and put in time at (the recently-defunct) Lucasfilm Games as well as 3DO and Dreamworks Interactive. This, in addition to a chairmanship with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), a column in Game Developer Magazine, consulting work with The Inspiracy , and international speaking engagements.

Falstein

It’s anyone’s guess what Google is up to here. The Google Play store does not want for gaming titles, and it’s not like Google has a console brewing that we know of. However, Google does have a developing crop of devices, from the solid Nexus tablets to Google Glass and the probable Google smartwatch, so it’s possible that the company may want to do some developing for those.

Falstein
Behind the scenes at Lucasfilm Games, 1985 (credit: Atarimagazines.com)

Falstein also dabbles in “Serious Games”, which he defines as "Using Games, Game Technology, or Game Industry Techniques for a purpose other than pure entertainment”; if that’s the area of expertise and interest that Google is after with this hire, we could be in for some very interesting developments.
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LOL! I'm just waiting for the day that we see a game come up with "Powered by Google Engine" come up at the intro, that would be a little weird to me.

What kinds of games would google even make? Little indie game kind of things, or big titles?

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Dave_HH replied on Sat, May 4 2013 3:26 PM

I would be thinking large scale stuff. Online, multiplayer, MMORPG, server farm-powered titles. Think for a minute how much compute power Google has at their disposal in their state of the art data centers. They could be a big name in multiplayer gaming before you know it.

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Dave_HH:

I would be thinking large scale stuff. Online, multiplayer, MMORPG, server farm-powered titles. Think for a minute how much compute power Google has at their disposal in their state of the art data centers. They could be a big name in multiplayer gaming before you know it.

You're actually right, on second thought I could definitely see them making a Sim city type game, that is even more reliant on the server side.  They could make the DRM actually work with less harm to the actual user because they have such a vast expanse of computing power.  Perhaps they could also rake in a bit of cash by offering to supply server operations to other game developers, but that depends on how competitive they want to be.

No doubt they would also have fiber connections from these server farms to wherever the data needs to be hauled to as well...This could be a really exciting thing to see develop!

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Google has the resources to do pretty much anything that they want to do with games. There is good money to be had if you come up with something that everyone likes, so yeah Google, go for it. UT3 on a smart-watch sounds good,................

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Remember guys, Google was the one that did the HTML5 game demos and whatnot. They know the power (and profit) of gaming.

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Clixxer replied on Mon, May 6 2013 1:07 AM

MayhemMatthew:

Remember guys, Google was the one that did the HTML5 game demos and whatnot. They know the power (and profit) of gaming.

Yep! Hmm major game titles by Google. That would be interesting. I would think if they are jumping in with both feet it would have to be an MMO. They make the most amount of cash. FPS would be off the table IMO since EA and Activision have that sown up and they would have to buy/create a new studio with a new engine to compete against the big boys unless they want to take the route that Valve did and make not super spectacular games but very solid and very fun to play like CS or Half life series. 

Like Dave said with all the computing power they have I think an MMO would be the first order of business if they want to get in with the big boys.

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I'm thinking integrated gaming concepts with augmented reality. Think Google Glass meets LARP, or Sim City meets Google Earth.

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realneil replied on Mon, May 6 2013 11:15 AM

I'm thinking something that will run on as many computers as possible is what they'll shoot for. They'll try to hit as many genres as they can effectively.

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