21-year-old is spearheading Google's new social-gaming startup Arcade

  • 21-year-old is spearheading Google's new social-gaming startup Arcade

21-year-old is spearheading Google's new social-gaming startup Arcade

Google is working on a gaming project called Arcade which will be "focused on mobile gaming with friends".

Arcade is expected to release its first game sometime later in the year.

Another interesting tidbit about the new Google social gaming startup is that it will be helmed by Michael Sayman - a 21-year-old "wunderkind" who began as a Facebook intern at age 17 and then left the company to join Google's parent company, Alphabet, last year. Given the popularity of HQ Trivia, as well as the game's efforts to create a social network within the experience, it makes sense for Google to opt for a similar strategy when it comes to Arcade's first title. Google has broken silence over this by confirming to Bloomberg that Arcade indeed exists, but is presently an experimental project. It's a very early experiment at this point, the rep said, so there aren't very many details to share.

Google has mostly cut back its ambitions in social media after Google Plus, a Facebook clone, gained little traction. The search giant has failed repeatedly in the social media space but it does not want to give up just yet. 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.

Sayman joined Google from Facebook in August and was originally planning to be a product manager for the Google Assistant team. As it is, Sayman gets to lead Arcade and hire his own staff for marketing, design, and other essentials to build up the startup with less risk - since the cost will be covered by Google. It could eventually be integrated into Google and its product line, or phased out if ultimately there isn't much interest.

Google's Area 120 initiative was started in 2016 and has been responsible for creating new avenues for the search giant.