Social networking: it ain’t for everyone. Or maybe it is for you, but you’ve already found the network you like to call home, and you’d rather not be bothered keeping up with every competitor popping their head up like an inquisitive prairie dog. Google+ has found itself the target of a lot of that too-many-networks resentment, especially as users interpreted a number of Google’s actions as trying to force Google+ upon them – like it or not. To the company’s credit, it’s been easing up on such practices recently, and last month we got word that Google Play Games was no longer going to require a Google+ account for use. Now Google’s detailing just how those changes are happening, and introducing the new Gamer IDs in the process.
Rather than linking all your play to your Google+ account, you’ll now be able to create a new Gamer ID that will be your public-facing identity for Play Games. Existing users who already connected with Google+ will also be able to create one on their next sign-in. Once created, gamers then have access to all sorts of privacy settings, letting them control who gets to see what about them and their accounts.
With this change also comes support for auto sign-ins, letting gamers get started with their favorite titles quickly and easily.
Google says that it will be rolling out support for Gamer IDs over the next few weeks, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see the option straight away. We’ve reached out to Google to check if there’s any way for users to register their desired Gamer ID in advance of their Play Games app getting its Gamer ID support, to make sure that your favorite gaming alias isn’t snagged by another user first – we’ll update this post if we learn anything along those lines.
Update: Google’s confirmed it – the changes are only just starting to hit users now, and you’re simply going to have to wait to get your Gamer ID registered.