Google’s never been a predictable sort of company. Its focus on green energy, support for the Klingon language, and decision to set up beehives on corporate property are just a few examples of unusual behavior. But if Google acts in a rational manner, Hitwise believes the company will enter the gaming sector.
This isn’t a random guess. In response to Google’s acquisition of ITA Software, Heather Hopkins wrote, "We at Hitwise have been waiting for such an announcement for some time. In 2006 when Google Finance was launched, we looked at the top downstream industries from Google and noticed an obvious gap: Travel. Then again in 2008, when Google Health was launched we did the same analysis and pointed out the same gap."
And now that Google’s filled the gap, Hopkins concluded, "[T]he next biggest downstream industry from Google.com is Games and Google does not yet have a presence in that industry. Stay tuned…"
The one problem with this prediction might be if Google thinks it already gave gaming a shot in the form of Lively. Lively didn’t come close to entertaining the average person, though, instead flopping in obscurity.
So we’ll see what happens. Maybe Google will find another $700 million it doesn’t quite know what to do with and make another major acquisition. It seems that all the positive reactions to the recent Pac-Man doodle should have encouraged the company, at least.