Google "Developer Advocate" for Gaming tips new focus

With talk of a Google-branded tablet, the Nexus One already on sale, and the various other projects the search giant has its sticky fingers dabbling into, it comes as little surprise to see them turning their attention to gaming.  Google have appointed Mark DeLoura as "developer advocate for games", the company's first solely gaming-focused position, and one which DeLoura describes as "both inward- and outward-facing."

"I personally feel that Google hiring someone specifically to focus on games is a signal from the company that they recognize the growing importance of games as a medium" Mark DeLoura, Developer Advocate for Games, Google

DeLoura has most recently been working as a game tech consultant, together with writing about game engines and other industry topics, and in the past was lead engineer at Nintendo of America.  Although he has not specifically named any individual projects he will be involved in, DeLoura has pledged to make "game development simpler and more accessible" together with looking to push gaming access of mobile platforms and social networks.

"In this time of great disruption in the game industry, there are a huge number of opportunities for developers. It can be difficult for traditional games companies to navigate the new possibilities provided by mobile platforms, social networks, and alternative business models. I'm looking forward to working with both traditional games companies and new game developers to talk about how Google can help, and the platforms and projects Google is working on" Mark DeLoura, Developer Advocate for Games, Google

One possibility is that Google could be looking to boost Android's reputation as a gaming platform, taking on the iPhone and iPod touch in the process.  Recent devices – such as the Nexus One – are certainly comparable in processing capability to other platforms, and Google's more open ethos with Android means it's potentially more straightforward to developers to add in online multiplayer functionality.  Of course, Apple have also announced their own Game Center which will debut in iPhone OS 4.0.

[via Gizmodo]