Google dips toes in social gaming with new 'Arcade' startup

Bloomberg: Google building social gaming startup

There were reports of Google secretly working on a gaming-based startup by the name of Arcade.

What's making headlines now is the confirmation from the company about a new startup, dubbed Arcade. Instead, users will have to create new accounts with their phone numbers.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the existence of Arcade, telling the publication that it is focused on mobile gaming with friends. He started at Facebook as an intern at 17 before joining Google past year. "It's a very early experiment so there aren't many details to share right now", a Google spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Arcade is expected to release its first game sometime later in the year. Sayman is a founder and co-owner of Arcade, according to Bloomberg.

Sayman was hired by Google in August as a product manager for the Google Assistant team and is now the youngest product manager at the search giant. Regardless, Google is still considering it a social media investment because, as one source highlights, once a game gets to a certain size, it becomes somewhat of a social network in itself. The search giant has failed repeatedly in the social media space but it does not want to give up just yet.

The new initiative is part of company's Area 120 division, where select Google employees can work on small startups that lives inside the company. As the Arcade startup shows, the search giant continues to experiment with apps that might appeal to younger mobile users and that provide a gateway to its other ad-supported services.

After interning at Facebook, he was hired as an engineer at the age of 18 and helped the company gain insights on teen behavior with technology. If Arcade sees considerable success, it may be integrated within Google's own products. However, it's an experimental project under Google's Area 120, which means Google would integrate it into its ecosystem if it's successful, else will scrap it.

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