Google Gets Games

Say 'Google' and 'games' and you'll most likely think back to that first happy afternoon you spent googlewhacking. It's a good few years since the simple pleasures of typing two words into its search box in the hope of finding a combination which produced just one solitary result seemed like worthwhile entertainment, and in those years a lot has changed – not least Google. A service which won the hearts of the world for its no-frills presentation of raw information, now has ambitions as a TV station (Google Video) and an office software maker (Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheets and through the recent acquisition of web-based word processor Writely). It powers millions of blogs through its ownership of Blogger, offers website traffic tracking services through Google Analytics, and makes millions each day from its Google Adsense advertising system. It wants to organise your photos (Picasa), manage your communications (Google Mail and Google Talk) and take up residence on your PC (Google Desktop). Combined, these efforts brought the company nearly $6 billion (£3.2 billion) in revenue in the first half of this year. And now, it also make games.

That's not, of course, to suggest that EA or Capcom should be looking over their shoulders, but as Google's reach extends into more and more unexpected industries, its clear there's a role it's already playing within gaming. It starts with The Da Vinci Code Quest...

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