Nary a week goes by this summer that we don’t hear more rumors about Google’s interest in online games, social networking, and/or some combination of the two. Tonight, the Wall Street Journal is quoting unnamed sources that say Google is talking with “several makers of popular online games” to have those games included on a new social networking site “that could compete with Facebook.”
There’s no confirmation from Google on this report, but the WSJ’s sources say the game makers include Zynga, Playfish (owned by Electronic Arts), and Playdom Inc.
There were reports two weeks ago that Google has invested $100 million-plus in Zynga, makers of the uber-popular Farmville game. The WSJ cites an interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who not only refused to confirm development of the new social networking/gaming site, but did say “you can expect a partnership with Zynga” in the future.
Greg Sterling has written about the Google social/gaming rumors in these two recent pieces:
- Would Gaming Fuel A Google Social Network?
- Will “Google Me” Be A Worthy Facebook Challenger Or Will It Be DOA?
There’s also more discussion on Techmeme about tonight’s news/rumors.