Google courts game makers
San Francisco - Google is courting folks that make games people love to play on smartphones.
The internet giant has teamed with a professional Game Developers Conference (GDC) taking place in San Francisco in March to offer free Nexus One and Droid smartphones to those that register early for the event.
Sessions at the conference will be devoted to games tailored for mobile devices, "making attendees great potential developers of new content for phones using the Android" operating system, according to GDC organisers.
Game applications are top sellers at Apple's wildly popular App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch devices, which Google has in its cross-hairs with its freshly launched Nexus One and an online Android Market for mini-programmes.
Growing numbers of hardware makers are building smartphones, netbooks and tablet computers based on Google's open-source Android software.
Smartphones are among the most widespread and widely-used game platforms, and have proven particularly suited to independent developers experimenting with new and unusual gameplay, according to the GDC.
"We are constantly looking for ways to help the game development community learn and thrive," said GDC event director Meggan Scavio.
"We are so appreciative that we can better reach those goals by actually putting a new opportunity - Android-powered devices - into the hands of our attendees."
GDC is billed as the world's largest exclusively professional event for game developers.
Game developers who register for the conference by February 4 will get Nexus One or Motorola Droid smartphones to help them "catch the Android wave", according to GDC.