With Google highlighting that 3 out of 4 Android users now use their device for gaming, increased focus has been put on improving the experience for those users. Google has also said that the momentum of their Google Play Games service is continuing to grow, with approximately 4 times the amount of revenue paid to developers in 2013 when compared to 2012.
As part of this move to improve the Google Play Games experience is the launch of new features for the service during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) which is taking place this week.
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The first change focuses around gamer engagement and discovery with the introduction of game gifts. This is a new service that lets players send virtual in-game objects to anyone in their circles or through player search. The Play Games app has also been updated to allow multiplayer invites to be directly sent, allowing your friends to discover and join your activity. This will be facilitated by the introduction of 18 new game categories to make it easier to find games that consumers want.
Perhaps one of the biggest introductions is the enhancement of the Play Games Unity Plug-in to support cross-platform mutliplayer services, meaning you can be on Android and participate in a multiplayer game against someone on iOS.
Futher improvements see enhancements brought to Play Games statistics on the Google Play Developer Console to provide analytics for developers and their games in the Google Play Store. This will include a dashboard to visualise player and engagement statistics for active users, retention analysis, and achievement performance.
Hopefully these enhancements to the Google Play Games services will entice developers to invest in the Android environment and see some great games brought to the platform. The end-user should also benefit from these changes by being able to engage with the community better, and also participate in cross-platform mutliplayer events.
Let us know your thoughts about these changes in the comments below.
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