Google has just announced an overhaul of its gaming service on Android, Google Play Games. In an update the Play Games app, users are no longer required to use a Google+ account to sign in, or as their identity. Instead, they can now create a Gamer ID, which consists of unique name and avatar, similar to how the Xbox Live and PlayStation’s PSN online networks function.
The changes to the Play Games app are said to be rolling out worldwide over the next week, with game titles being transitioned over to the Gamer ID system. Users can register their profile name in the app starting today, as well as choose from over 40 avatar images.
The removal of the Google+ requirement means users no longer have to use their real names on the games service, and the Gamer IDs are just tied to a standard Google email account. Game activity can be set to public or private, and users can find one another by simply searching for their email, or entering their Gamer ID directly.
Other revisions for the service include reducing the need to sign-in for each individual game to just a single sign-in for the entire account. Google adds that game developers won’t need to make any real changes to their apps, and that they’re considering options for customized avatars in the future.