Court Docs Show Google's Gaming Plans Include Native Android Apps on Windows and Mac thumbnail

Court Docs Show Google’s Gaming Plans Include Native Android Apps on Windows and Mac

A photo of the Stadia controller

The cross-platform games suite would have been united by a universal game controller, just like on Stadia.
Photo: Alex Cranz / Gizmodo

Last week, the seal on the sack of secrets began busting open in the Epic Games lawsuit against Google. We learned that Google had once admitted sideloading was a less-than-desirable experience for some users and that it considered Epic Games a threat worth squelching. And more revelations are coming through the pipeline as additional documents and emails become a “need to know” for the court.

The fresh findings include a presentation on a confidential idea that Google has for a games suite called “Games Future.” The details sound similar to what Stadia is already attempting for Chrome and Android, but it would bring games natively to Apple and Microsoft’s ecosystems, too.

First reported by The Verge, Games Future was initially presented internally with the idea that Google would pivot as a games company of sorts. The “Games Future” includes a five-year plan for creating “the world’s largest gaming platform” where developers could have a single place to target both PC and Mac gamers and even smart displays. Of course, the search giant positions the future of gaming as reliant on Google’s wealth of cloud-based services. The idea is that you could access it all through a universal game controller pairable with any device or TV. Sound familiar?

A screenshot of the PDF in question

What gaming “cross-platform” looks like internally at Google.
Image: Epic v. Google

There’s also evidence Google’s been considering bringing “emulated, native and streamed games” to Windows. This means on-device emulation for its Android apps, which is possible now only through third-party apps like Bluestacks. This exact feature is coming to Windows 11 in the fall, though it’s facilitated instead through the Amazon App store. Google could have beaten Amazon to the punch.

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The full 70-page document is embedded below for your perusal. There are plenty of juicy bits that haven’t been redacted, including gems about Google’s plans for a satellite esports tournament system with hooks into YouTube. There’s also a tease of what gaming on a smart display would have looked like. It’s clear that Google has been incubating plans to figure out how to index the world’s game library, in addition to everything else.

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