Apple’s Mac has long been an afterthought for the video game industry, and few think of Google as a gaming company, despite running Android, one of the largest gaming platforms in the world. But Google had a plan to change those things in October 2020, according to an explicitly confidential 70-page vision document called “Games Futures.”
The “need to know” document, which got caught up in the discovery process when Epic Games took Apple to court, reveals a tentative five-year plan to create what Google called “the world’s largest gaming platform.” . Google envisioned presenting game developers with a single place where they can address gamers on multiple screens, including Windows and Mac, as well as smart displays, all brought together by Google services and a “low-cost universal portable game controller. “that players can pair with any device, even a television.
There is some reason to be skeptical that this document reflects Google’s true direction: “Presented by ‘partially funded’ productions and ‘I have a dream,’” says one of the first slides. And we know that Google lost some of its gaming ambition this February, when it decided to take its original game studios offline for Google Stadia.
And yet the well-written document suggests that to start down this path, Google will first bring “emulated, native, and streamed games” to Windows, something that no longer sounds far-fetched: Microsoft just announced in June that Android apps are coming to Windows 11, no doubt with Amazon’s Appstore as the initial partner.
If Google is really going in this direction, you can take a look at what to expect in the full 70-page document embedded below. It includes how Google would try to establish its Play Games brand as an “indie games destination,” bringing approximately 100 of the “best Android mobile games” to the PC, requiring developers to support controllers and multiple platforms, and requiring minimum prices for can attract “super premium” games to the platform. There is much that has not been written and it is somewhat ambitious.
And if you want to learn more about where it came from, you can find our full list of the best emails in the world. Epic v. Apple judgment here.