Psst, do you want to hear a secret? A former Facebook intern who later joined Google is spearheading a new social gaming startup within the company. It’s called Arcade, and it’s set to make a debut this summer. Most of the details are under lock and key, being a secret project and all, though apparently there will be a trivia game component to whatever the final product ends up being.
The startup’s founder and co-owner, Michael Sayman, is now 21 years old. He’s four years removed from interning at Facebook, which he joined as a teenager. While we don’t have many details to go on, it seems that Sayman’s time at Facebook is helping to influence Arcade, at least in the sense that it’s a social media play, one that is “focused on mobile gaming with friends.”
That’s about all a Google spokesperson would say on the matter, telling Bloomberg there really isn’t anything to talk about at the moment.
“It’s a very early experiment so there aren’t many details to share right now,” the spokesperson said.
Arcade is one of the projects being worked on at Area 120, a division at Google where employees can work on startups that live within the company. According to people who are supposedly familiar with Arcade, it won’t have any tie ins with existing social networks. In other words, this won’t be part of Google+, for Facebook for that matter. Nevertheless, Google considers its investment into Arcade as an investment into social media.
That investment includes a certain amount of dollars for Sayman to hire employees and pour into marketing, along with design and finance. As to where Arcade ends up, that remains to be seen. It could eventually be integrated into Google and its product line, or phased out if ultimately there isn’t much interest.
Google has struggled a bit in the social media space. Google+ didn’t take off the way Facebook did, despite considerable hype leading up to its launch. Arcade will be something different, of course, but its success (or lack thereof) will still depend on Google being able to attract mobile users, particularly younger ones that are more apt to be into this sort of thing.