Today Google officially announced Google Play game services, a suite of features aimed at making Google Play a real cohesive game platform rather than a just a random pile of titles in no particular order. Top developers like Glu Mobile and Gameloft are lining up to enhance their Android titles with achievements, cloud saves, leaderboards and real-time multiplayer using Google+ friend circles.
Games like World of Goo,Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos are already using the new services, which should make Google Play more competitive with the likes of Apple's Game Center. Glu Mobile was kind enough to send along a batch of screens showing the new services at work within Eternity Warriors 2, as seen below.
Cloud saves are a particularly welcome addition. As a person who plays across several different Android devices, being able to pick up where I left off is going to shave hours off mobile charging frustration. And who knows, maybe I'll finally dust off Google+ and start adding people to my circles again.
Publishers and developers seem eager to integrate the new features. As I was writing this a press release from Gameloft showed up in my inbox, boasting integration today for Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, with Dungeon Hunter 4 and Asphalt 7: Heat getting integrated in the coming weeks.
It's certainly a step in the right direction for Google Play. Now all we need is the ability to sort games by release date. Seriously, how hard can that be?