Game developers are about to get a handful of tools that should make their jobs easier.
Google announced a number of improvements to its suite of Google Play game services that should help developers make better apps and more money. These features include a way for studios to bypass the review process for updating their games and a new ad that acts an instant demo. Mobile gaming is a $34.8 billion industry, and Google wants a bigger share of that. The company is behind Apple when it comes to spending on mobile games in markets like the United States and Canada, but these tools could help close that gap.
During a presentation today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Google Play Games boss Morgan Dollar and product manager Ben Frenkel ran down the changes that developers can expect to see in the coming months.
Here are the major points:
- Game parameters management: This enables developers to instantly change certain things in their games without having to submit an official app update. If a ton of players are struggling with a certain enemy, the studio now has the option to tweak that with no hassle.
- Predictive analytics: A new feature for Player Stats in Google Play services that shows the groups of players that are likely to spend money or leave an app.
- Search trial run ads: Developers can now embed demonstrations of their games into ads inside of Google searches on Android.
- Portrait video ads: The majority of people who play games and watch interstitial videos hold their phones vertically, and now Google is offering up an ad unit so that developers can reach those people without hitting them with an awkward-looking horizontal video.
- Active user targeting for games: Developers will get the option to target ads directly at players who have spent more than 30 minutes playing games in the last 30 days.
- Admob Mediation: Incentivized advertising built into Google Play.
One of the big things to notice about many of these features is that they are something we’ve already seen other companies doing, but now Google is building a toolkit that it gives to away to all of its developers for free. This reduces the barrier of entry for smaller studios, and it also reduces friction for a popular iOS developer trying to bring games to Android.