Google may be about to take its most serious steps to get into the videogame business. The company is developing a subscription-based game streaming service that could work either on Google’s Chromecast or possibly a Google-made console still being developed, according to people with knowledge of the project.
The service, codenamed Yeti, would put Google at the forefront of a nascent part of the videogame business, one that lets people play games as they’re being streamed, rather than using downloads or disks. If Google is successful, it could grab a piece of the $109 billion videogame market. It also represents the latest effort by Google to establish a presence in the home, following its recent launch of the Google Home voice-activated speaker and success with the Chromecast for streaming video.
Google recently hired Phil Harrison, a long-time gaming industry veteran. Sources indicate he is closely involved with the project. Harrison spent 15 years as the head of Sony’s network of game studios and three years as a senior member of Microsoft’s Xbox team. Since leaving those companies, he has served as an adviser and board member to various gaming companies.