The newest social network from Google came out of the gates red hot after reporting a 238% increase in visitors for the week of July 16. Google+ racked up 20 million users during its trial run and even courted desperate users to bid for invitations on Ebay. But as traffic and usage time begins to decline, the search giant may need to look towards other options in retaining its users.
Recent reports from Engadget and Slashgear reveal that Google+ may be working on a project related to online games called Google Games Stream. Multiple clues leading towards a presumed launch of Game Stream includes a leaked source code, mentioning of Google Games within the Google+ Help forum, and job postings for a head position in Google's games department.
Companies such as Zynga have proven that users will flock toward online games and spend a considerable amount of time playing them. The combined efforts of Facebook and Zynga produced impressive numbers; over 200 million users spending 2 billion minutes playing online games a day.
Google+ could use some of those statistics and injecting the rumored Games Stream should revive the momentum they produced in earlier weeks. As of now, Experian Hitwise presented the latest report for Google+. The social network that was on fire appears to be cooling down with a 3% decline in users and 10% drop in usage time as compared to previous weeks.
Google may be behind in the area of games, but they carry advantages over the competition in terms of developers, cash in hand, and ability to reach a higher number of users online. A barrage of new games could fill the demand of missing genre titles and retain users to spend more time on the site playing games.
According to Sean Ryan, the director of game partnerships at Facebook, the games market is still open with plenty of opportunities to advance forward. Ryan spoke to companies and developers in hopes of encouraging the expansion of online games.
"It's not a market where 10 apps get all of the users. The market is growing like crazy and you can participate in it," said Ryan.
Certain genres of games remain untapped and current popular titles still has room for improved versions. An example given was the rising popularity in casino, light weight combat, and hidden object styled games.
"I think that the market could support more than 50 or 100 games in this genre alone," added Ryan.
Google was reported to have already invested $100 million into the game company Zynga. It was rumored that Google plans to award higher percentage rates to developers submitting games to Games Stream, undercutting Facebook's current 30% offering.