Google is secretly working on a social-gaming startup called Arcade. The startup is planning a new app that might have some elements of a trivia game. The search giant has failed repeatedly in the social media space but it does not want to give up just yet.
According to Bloomberg, Arcade is part of Area 120, a division where employees can work on small startups that live inside Google. The Arcade team is led by 21-year-old Michael Sayman, who was roped in from Facebook last year. The startup is said to be working on its first app, a trivia game that could be similar to HQ Trivia in terms of features.
“Arcade is focused on mobile gaming with friends. It’s a very early experiment so there aren’t many details to share right now,” a Google spokesperson told Bloomberg.
Arcade’s games will not have any tie-in with existing social networks and like HQ Trivia, users will create accounts with their phone numbers. Google is seeing Arcade an an investment in the social media because once the game becomes popular, it can turn into a social network in its own respect.
Sayman joined Google from Facebook in August and was originally planning to be a product manager for the Google Assistant team. At Area 120, Sayman gets a budget to hire staff and for design, finance and marketing efforts of his own startup. Google aims to integrate such successful initiatives within the core product line once it reaches a peak audience.
Google’s Area 120 initiative was started in 2016 and has been responsible for creating new avenues for the search giant. It was responsible for a bot analytics software named Chatbase and a now shuttered project called Supersonic that tried to convert voice messages into emojis.
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Google’s last major attempt at social network came in the form of Google+ but it failed to create a dent in Facebook’s userbase. With Arcade, Google seems to be going after a new set of users who want to engage in social media while continuing to play their games on the network.