This is another free dumb idea from yours truly. I mean who else could pull this off? Okay, okay, you might be asking: "what in tarnations is this ravingloonietic talking about? Google as a game publisher? That is just so dumb."
Well this idiot woke up with a slight headache and thought, hmmmm, Google has two very cool applications or shall we say, "services": Google Earth and Google Maps: Street View.
Google Earth: flight Simulator
Google Maps Street View, (just ignore the guy in spandex)
Well, in definition these two "services" aren't games. But they are truly fun to "play" with.
Okay, okay, I'll get to the point.
Now, some visionary, a few months back thought that as processors become more powerful, people would continuously find ways to entertain themselves with the corresponding increase in computing power. That it is all leading to "Greater Virtual Reality". Yes that "visionary" has been crucified so many times already for crimes such as having his "head in the sky" and for being too "idealistic". The visionary doesn't care.
That being said, I thought about these two premises:
- Computing Power will definitely increase and its cost will decrease as stated by Moore's Law
- Google has the resources financially and technically.
- Google, would use these services to introduce a new web commerce model, oh wait, they already did!
- Google Earth's GM John Hanke: User Annotated Maps
- Google Earth and Maps used to make it easier for users to find exactly what they're looking for
Nothing is stopping Google from putting ogres, trolls, 16 tentacled space aliens, laser blasting marines, cars and space shuttles from these "services".
Nothing is stopping Google from merging these two services into one application or two concurrently running symbiotic applications.
Nothing is stopping Google from turning these two applications into something better than Second Life.
Finally, nothing is stopping Google from turning these services into the ULTIMATE MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE SHOPPING/ROLE PLAYING/REAL TIME STRATEGY GAME.
The 3D world is already there, and it is there in astounding detail. Heck, it might even have pictures of your own backyard! Some MMO game developers I know cite that perhaps one of the more challenging things to implement in an MMORPG is creating an "Immersive and Interesting 3D World."
The Truth is Stranger than Fiction.
The real world is more Interesting than Azeroth or some random spawn place. Why do you think Second Life is so famous these days? Yet despite Second Life's reputation, users will always see it as "just" another 3D game with a fake world with a fake environment with an altogether inadequate representation of reality.
You might contend that engaging in such a gargantuan endeavor simply takes too much resources for even the Web Search giant. But consider this: The gaming industry earned $ 9.5 Billion last year. Isn't that enough motivation for any business entity? Let's set aside for a moment , web commerce, and think of the idea - web commerce is a cumbersome task to purchase things and/or services.
Let us turn that idea into web commerce is a fun game to explore.
Imagine yourself, commanding legions of other Googlites to attack the alien hideout in the North Pole. Or better yet, imagine yourself as the army captain who must capture Manhattan from the Cloverfield monster. Your ground troops and fellow Googlites, are getting beaten black and blue, eaten alive, decapitated so you decide to call in the Stealth Bombers to Carpet bomb the cloverfield menace and then hit a couple of buildings created with Google Sketchup. The bomb hits and whammo, large buildings fall and destroy the nearby Armored Cavalry regiment, they would have to respawn as infantry again.
Google Maps: as Briefing Screen
To conclude, there is no other company that I know of that has the adequate amount of resources to embark on such an endeavor. Furthermore, Google being an "Open Source Friendly" giant, could utilize this to their advantage.
In the end, I am not saying this would happen, what I am saying is that if it does, I am pretty sure that Google stands to benefit from entering the arena of online gaming, because indirectly it already has.