Google Play Games gets improved multiplayer, virtual gifts, more

March 17, 2014
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Google Play Games new feature set has been confirmed. The news, which slipped last night is now official. In this case we are looking at features more intended for the developer side, which touched on the Google Play Games SDK. Of course, while this is initially aimed at developers, it should also serve to give the average mobile game player some hints in terms of what will be coming.

Interestingly enough, Google began the announcement with mention about how "3 in every 4 Android users are playing games." That was the Google way of drawing in game developers -- as they can reach "an unprecedented audience." That that point, Google then touched on how they paid out four times more money in 2013 as compared to 2012.

Anyway, this news comes with the kickoff of the Game Developers Conference (GDC), and includes mention of game gifts, multiplayer invites, and more categories for games. Specifically, Google has introduced 19 new game categories which should help players narrow things down to (almost) exactly what they are looking for.

Also included with this SDK update will be multiplayer support for iOS. This means the turn-based and real-time multiplayer games options will be available for both Android and iOS users. Google also introduced something called the Play Games Unity plug-in which is said to "further help cross platform game development. Another of the developer oriented bits includes the introduction of the Play Games C++ SDK which supports achievements and leader boards.

Keeping on the topic of stats, and we also saw mention of enhanced Play Games statistics on the Google Play Developer Console. Google pointed out how this will provide easy game analytics for Play Games adopters, and also offer a daily dashboard that "visualizes player and engagement statistics for signed in users, including daily active users, retention analysis and achievement, and leaderboard performance."

SOURCE: Android Developers Blog


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