Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Dueling Facebook-Google Games Events Not So Dueling After All

Last Thursday, both Facebook and Google seemed to suddenly have gaming announcements at the exact same time. Due to the scheduling snafu, much was made of the ongoing war between the pair of Silicon Valley giants.

Some had speculated that Facebook moved up its developers-only event in order to screw up the news that Google+ was adding games to the social network. Others surmised that Google had rushed its plans in order to steal Facebook’s thunder about its improvements.

Not so on either side, as it turns out, especially since these kinds of complex events — and with so many varied partners — are a little like herding cats. In other words, you need to do a lot of planning.

According to sources, Google had long planned to announce its offerings this week. And, as you can see from the email below, Facebook had its invites out a while back.

Thus, although it makes for a gripping narrative, we can put away the cutlasses at dawn.

For now.

Because the real substance of the competition — each trying to draw more users to its games, which has been big business on Facebook — remains in effect, as the pair continue to make moves into each others’ businesses going forward.

Also impacted by Google+ games: Apple.

As Tricia Duryee noted:

“Google’s move into videogames today should scare both Facebook and Apple, the two leading next-generation game platforms. In particular, what should be frightening is that Google is attempting to break today’s 30 percent cut that has become standard across both Facebook and Apple.”

That’s scary, for sure. But, at least when it comes to scheduling, sometimes an event is just an event.

Here’s the Facebook invite:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus