Google launches Google Play Partner Program for major game developers

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Google today unveiled its Google Play partner program as part of its services to major game developers.

Google is holding its Google Games Summit today to talk about the latest features for game developers in the Android operating system and the Google Play Store.

The online event is normally held at the Game Developers Conference, but this time Google wasn’t sure whether the event should take place in person, given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, Leo Olebe, director of game partnerships at Google Play, said in an interview with PlayBeat. The event takes place today and will feature several hours of content. Greg Hartrell, product director for Google Play, and Olebe speak at the event. So are plenty of other Google Play leaders. (Hartrell also speaks at our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2022 event.)

At the summit, the Android and Google Play teams will cover tools for all parts of the game development lifecycle, whether they are an independent developer or an established studio. Google already has an Indie Game Accelerator program for small developers.

Google Play's Android Game Development Kit makes things easier for game developers.Google Play’s Android Game Development Kit makes things easier for game developers.

The Google Play Partner Program provides larger game developers and studios with the resources they need to maintain and scale their games (including faster releases, additional tools to combat abuse at scale, and more).

“The Google Play Partner Program is aimed at large-scale developers, those who have long lead times and who invest a lot of time and money in their games throughout the lifecycle,” said Olebe. “What this program does is provide additional services and features that are truly tailored to them. It focuses on faster releases, priority publishing, pre-launch tools, growth, engagement tools, post-launch tools and more.”

He added: “Whether you’re at the beginning, middle or perhaps most of your game developer journey, Google Play has value that we want to bring to you. Our whole purpose is to help developers and publishers succeed. to be.”

The Google Play team will also share more details about their Google Play Games for PC product, as part of their ongoing work to make Google Play Games a cohesive experience across multiple platforms.

Olebe noted that Google has made commitments to gaming nonprofits to drive positive change in the gaming industry, with a potential focus on mental health in the gaming industry and improving diversity and people from underrepresented backgrounds.

“I think it’s critical for the entire game industry to continue to recognize that we’re better when we bring people in. So that’s really what we focus on in the work that we do,” Olebe said.

The Android Game Development Extension allows developers to build directly from Visual Studio for Android. and the continued rollout of Play As You Download (coming soon to all Android 12 users, allowing players to directly launch a game from the Play Store listing), Google Play will make it faster to develop and play games.

“How do we tell the story of supporting developers throughout their lifecycle?” said Oleb. “You have people who are just starting out, you know. Maybe they build games in their garage. Maybe they are still in the early stages and have just been funded. Then you have people who are more established or support nonprofits. We have our Indie Games Accelerator and our Indie Games Festival. We have done that fairly consistently over the past few years.”

Google said that gameplay on tablets, foldables and Chromebooks is emerging and has the potential to be more engaging and immersive than ever before.

In 2021, Android usage in Chrome OS grew by 50% from the previous year, mainly due to games. Google Play Games for PC Beta was rolled out to South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong in January. This standalone Windows PC application, built by Google, allows users to seamlessly play a catalog of Google Play games on their mobile phone, tablet, Chromebook, or (now) their Windows PC.

Google’s “play as you download” beta program was announced last year and will soon open to all Android 12 users. It allows users to get into the game in seconds while game items are downloaded in the background. and can be done with minimal developer changes.

The Android Game Development Extension introduced last year allows game developers to build for Android directly from Visual Studio. To make debugging in Java and C easier, AGDE will now include cross-compatibility between Android Studio and Visual Studio, allowing developers to open and edit AGDE projects in the Android Studio debugger.

The new Memory Advice API (Beta) library added to AGDK helps developers understand their memory consumption by combining the best signals for a given device to determine how close the device is to low memory loss.

Google has also fully launched the Android GPU Inspector Frame Profiler to help developers understand when a game is bottlenecking the GPU versus CPU, and to achieve better frame rates and battery life.

Google also launches Google Play revenue and revenue growth distributions for a game and its peer group, allowing developers to build revenue-based business cases for troubleshooting or device targeting, if that fits better with the game’s business model than using installs.

For those who have games with a global presence, Google has launched country specs and filters for Vitals stats to make it easier to prioritize and fix stability issues.

Google recently said that its Privacy Sandbox, which is implemented with Chrome, is open to the community to understand and provide feedback. As for why Google didn’t have a GDC event, Olebe said that when Google was finalizing its plans, it was the height of the most recent Omicron wave and so there was no point in doing anything personal at the time.

“This is really how we show our partners,” Olebe said. “The past two years have been challenging. That’s why we wanted to make sure we continue to have a forum where we can reach as many people as possible,” said Olebe. “At the beginning of all this planning, no one knew the world would open up. So we did a digital format before and it worked really well.”

Google believes we have about 2.5 billion active gamers in the world in 190 countries. Google Play had about 140 billion downloads last year and developers have earned more than $80 billion to date.

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