Google Play Games is breaking up with Google+. The process started earlier this year in February when Google introduced Gamer IDs to replace the need to sign in to Google+ and give or deny permissions with every new Google Play game you downloaded. The final nail in the coffin for Google+ integration into Play Games came via an announcement yesterday when the company made public that all Google+ integrations would cease to function starting in February 2017.
Ever since Google Play Games was introduced, it relied on Google+ to allow users to to view statistics about players that you are connected to via Google+ circles. Features later introduced such as social leaderboards, gifts, and real-time multiplayer relied on returning a list of friends in your Google+ profile to make Android gaming more social. This meant users having to set up their Google+ account which was a little difficult since while everyone with a Google account has a Google+ account, most Google users have hardly ever tried Google+.
Outside of a few niche topics such as comic books and Android, Google+ has failed to catch on as a social media platform and that’s why Google has slowly been pulling back the rather annoying Google+ integration from all Google services.
Starting 2017, all games that request Google+ social data will be able to successfully do so but the standard UIs for multiplayer invitations and social leaderboards will return empty lists. Google is replacing this with the Google Sign-In API for authentication allowing Android gamers to continue using their Google accounts which are far more widely used on Android rather than gamers having to set up a Google+ profile first.
Google says this will lead to a better developer experience for Android game developers.
Source : Android Developer Blog