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Former Facebook Employee Heading Up Google's Secret Social Gaming Startup

It's called Arcade and the games won't be tied directly to any existing social networks.


Google has been pretty busy. The tech giant teamed up with NBC for a handful of VR shows and is currently overhauling their Google Play music platform, among other things. Now, a report has revealed that Google is working on a secret social-gaming startup and it has a former Facebooker at the helm.

Bloomberg reports that Michael Sayman, the former 17-year-old Facebook intern that left the company for Google last year, is heading up a start-up called Arcade. Its first app, which will debut this summer, will have elements of a trivia game. A spokesperson, in a statement to Bloomberg, confirmed the existence of Arcade and stated that it will be "focused on mobile gaming with friends." They add that "it's a very early experiment so there aren't many details to share right now."

An unnamed source gave more information to Bloomberg regarding Arcade's projects:

"Arcade’s games have no tie-in with existing social networks. Users create accounts with their phone numbers, one of the people said. Google is considering it a social-media investment because once a game gets to a certain size, it’s something of a social network by itself, this person said. Google scaled back its ambitions in social media after its Facebook clone, Google Plus, failed to take off. Still, the search giant has kept toying with forms of social networks, such as app experiments like this, to keep younger mobile internet users hooked on the company’s products."

If another rumor is true, Google still has another ace-in-the-hole for the month of May. In March, we reported on the company teaming up with Sharp for the highest resolution OLED for VR HMDs. A May reveal was teased, so stay tuned to Shacknews for updates.

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at

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