Social networking games are big business, and Google wants in with its own Facebook competitor.
Whether you love or hate social networking games, prepare to see a lot more of them. Sources at the Wall Street Journal report that Google has been in talks with top social gaming developers to have their games offered on a service it hopes will compete head-on with Facebook.
Facebook's 500 million members bring tens of millions of players to social networking games such as Zynga's FrontierVille, making it a smart bet for Google to create an alternative. The possible Facebook competitor is rumored to be called Google Me, and is a larger scale initiative than Google Buzz, though it may incorporate Buzz features.
Sources say Google has been in talks with many social gaming developers such as Playdom, EA's Playfish, and Zynga. Google recently invested $100 million in Zynga alone, lending credence to rumors of a new Google-owned social gaming destination.
Don't expect a Facebook clone, as Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said that "the world doesn't need a copy of the same thing," though he didn't confirm the future launch of a Facebook rival. At this point, it seems to be only a matter of time before Google reveals what it's up to, because every indication is that Google wants a piece of what Facebook has going on in the gaming space.