Today at the Game Developers Conference, PlayPhone announced that Verizon would begin pre-loading a Games Portal app that is powered by their social mobile gaming platform. Details are limited, but it sounds likely that Verizon will pre-load the Games Portal on most Android devices starting in Q2 2013.
Verizon launched their own app store called V Cast Apps back in 2010, but that didn’t work out so well and Verizon decided to close it this year as they evolved their strategy to “further simplify today’s experience and meet the needs of tomorrow.”
Games Portal will attempt to woo developers with distribution to millions of Verizon customers, a huge marketing push, direct carrier billing, and a social network that connects gamers across different platforms.
“PlayPhone’s SDK provides developers with powerful social game discovery capabilities — social game recommendations, friend invites, leaderboards, achievements, and brags — enabling viral games discovery,” PlayPhone said in a blog post. “Add in the sheer size of Verizon’s network, and Games Portal becomes the mother lode of distribution, fueling exponential growth to your games.”
We are not huge fans of carrier pre-loaded software on Android phones, which is why we support unlocked devices, but we do like to see any push that encourages more game developers to target Android devices.
Look for more information on Verizon’s Games Portal in the coming months.