For the second major Android event in a row, Google is expanding the features it is offering to gamers and game developer on its mobile operating system.
At a Google “breakfast press conference” today, the company introduced a hub for its Play Game Services in the form of a new native Android app.
The software will focus on enabling players to manage games on their Android devices. Play Games will help gamers quickly find and launch software and find and compete with their friends. It also centralizes and surfaces leaderboards, achievements, and multiplayer features for any game using the Google Play Game services.
Google Play Games is available to download today from the Play marketplace.
The app also uses Google+ integration to help players keep up with their friends. Gamers can quickly check what others are playing and check where they are on the leaderboards. Google Play product manager Ellie Powers showed off a feature where she clicked on her friends profile and saw some of the games he’s played recently. This should aid developers with discovery since players can quickly click through on a game to download it if they don’t have it yet.
Google first introduced its Play Games Services at its I/O event in May. It’s a solution for developers to add cloud saves, leaderboards, multiplayer, and more to games on Android, PC, and even iOS. The company obviously sees a need to expand the presence of games on the Android platform. Smartphone and tablet users download more games than any other kind of app. They also spend more money in games than any other kind of app. Google wants game developers to feel welcome on Android.
While Google Play Games doesn’t make it any easier to port games to Android, it certainly might entice some iOS developer to adopt Google Play Games since it works on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry OS.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!