Google is working on a social gaming network to mirror iOS's Game Center, according to a recent report. Game Center, in case you're not familiar with it, is Apple's social platform for mobile gaming. It allows users to connect to one another around the games they play. It includes leaderboards for high scores, achievements, and the ability to challenge your friends to multiplayer games.
Citing "a source familiar with the plans," Business Insider is reporting that Google is planning to build its own social gaming platform. The service would mimic the functionality of Game Center and offer an achievement system and leaderboards. The source did not say, but it seems certain that such a service would feature deep Google+ integration.
The source also said that Google also plans to copy Apple by implementing an App Store-like payment system in Google Play. The system would make paying for apps (especially games) in Google Play as simple and straightforward as buying them in the App Store.
Introduced in 2010, Game Center has helped Apple become a major player in the lucrative mobile gaming market. In fact, the revenue generated by iOS accounts for a staggering 84% of all mobile gaming revenues. While other platforms like OpenFeint are currently available to Android app developers (and are also in use on many iOS apps, Game Center notwithstanding), it makes sense that Google would want their own integrated social gaming platform. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of the Android platform as opposed to iOS, it's not widely considered a game-friendly platform. By copying Apple's success with Game Center, Google stands a chance of increasing Android's presence in a market that is worth an awful lot of money.