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Why did Google hire gaming veteran Noah Falstein?

With noted industry veteran Noah Falstein recently revealing that he works at Google on a gaming related project, we wonder about the significance of the move. Is Google preparing a push in gaming?
May 3, 2013
noah falstein

Google appears to be making some kind of push in the gaming area, with noted industry veteran Noah Falstein recently revealing that he works at Google on a gaming related project.

Falstein has updated his job title on his LinkedIn profile, as TechCrunch has noticed, to “Chief Game Designer at Google”. Before that, according to a cached copy of the page, the title was “Chief Game Designer at Android Play Studio”, a group that nobody seems to have heard of.

Fact is that Falstein is a well-known name in the gaming industry, having worked on games professionally ever since 1980. Some of his most notable achievements include titles such as Sinistar, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, or Chaos Island.

Why would Google need a game designer?

Now that we’ve established that Falstein knows his way around the gaming industry, let’s try and figure out why Google needs him. An increasing number of consumers are taking to their mobile devices for their gaming needs. PCs are losing ground in terms of sales (although they will remain essential for our professional life) while pricey consoles titles compete for the attention of buyers with a wave of cheap mobile titles. Google obviously wants a to be the center of our entertainment universe, and gaming could be a central part of its effort in this area.

Ingress proves that Google is not ignoring the gaming world, and that it has plans in that direction. A Google game studio would be an excellent way to promote Android gaming, and one that would make a lot of sense. Google could actually set an example in terms of what gaming for Android can be.

Provide they’ll be confirmed, rumors of Google developing its own game center for Android, similar to Apple’s implementation on iOS, offer more proof that Google has serious plans in the gaming department.

At the moment, only Noah Falstein himself and Google can say what’s cooking in Google’s gaming oven, and they don’t seem to plan on telling just yet. The company has confirmed to Engadget the hiring of the gaming industry veteran, but mum’s the word when it comes to what he’s actually doing.

It will be interesting to see whether we’ll hear anything official about Google’s interest in gaming at Google I/O, an event that’s just a couple of weeks away.