Google Play is planning on allowing Android vs iOS gaming

Callum Tennent
March 17, 2014

The Google Play Games team have today announced that inter-OS gaming may be possible in the near future.

Speaking at  Games Developers Conference ’14, Greg Hartrell of Google Play Games has said that they plan on improving Google Play Games services in a number of ways, the most noticeable of which would allow gaming on an Android device against an iOS device via ‘turn-based and real-time multiplayer capabilities’.

The team are updating their  Play Games Unity Plug-in to facilitate simpler development of cross-platform games. Achievements and leaderboards will also be supported, along with the ability to send gifts to any gamer in your friendship circle.

Cross-platform gaming is a truly mouthwatering prospect, and one which would almost certainly be welcomed with open arms by gamers and developers alike. It’s a true win-win situation for both parties, and can only be beneficial to the already stratospheric rise of mobile gaming. In fact the situation is so perfect that there must be a catch.

Whilst the announcement from Google Play Games didn’t mention it, it’s more than reasonable to presume that the future of this development rests in the hands of Apple. Android is all about free, open-source development – rather the antithesis of Apple’s members-only, tightly-vetted approach to development in the form of iOS. Would they fraternising with the enemy?

From the sounds of things it seems that cross-platform gaming would operate via a middle-man app – sort of like the Game Centre currently found on iOS, except perhaps taking on the role of a launcher as well. This leads us down the same murky path as apps like console emulators, which have been met with stiff resistance from Apple despite falling within a legal grey-area. Just how Google plans to execute it remains to be seen.

Let’s hope that Apple and Google can set aside their differences for the good of the player, as mobile gaming faces its biggest step forward yet.


About the Author

Callum Tennent

International playboy/tech journalist.

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