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 for 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 Google Play Store.

The online event is normally held during the Game Developers Conference, but this time Google wasn’t sure whether to hold the event in person, given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, said Leo Olebe, director of partnerships. of games at Google Play, in an interview with JeuxBeat. The event takes place today and it will have several hours of content. Greg Hartrell, Product Manager for Google Play, and Olebe speak at the event. The same goes for many other Google Play leaders. (Hartrell is also speaking at our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2022 event.)

During the summit, the Android and Google Play teams will discuss tools for all parts of the game development lifecycle, whether it’s an indie developer or an established studio. Google already has an Indie Game Accelerator program for small developers.

Google Play’s Android Game Development Kit makes it easy for game developers.

The Google Play Partners program will provide major game developers and studios with the resources they need to maintain and evolve their games (including faster releases, additional tools to combat mass abuse, etc.) .

“The Google Play Partner Program is for large-scale developers, those who have long lead times and invest a lot of time and money into their games throughout the lifecycle,” Olebe said. “What this program does is provide additional services and features that are truly tailored to them. It focuses on faster releases, priority release, 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 goal is to help developers and publishers succeed. »

The Google Play team will also be sharing more details about their Google Play Games for PC product, as part of their ongoing work to make Google Play Games a consistent, cross-platform experience.

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

“I think it’s extremely important for the entire gaming industry to continue to recognize that we’re better at bringing people in. And 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 for Android directly from Visual Studio. and the continued rollout of Play As You Download (coming soon to all Android 12 users, allowing gamers to instantly start a game from the Play Store listing), Google Play will speed up game development and play.

“How do we tell the story of supporting developers throughout their lifecycle?” said Olebe. “You have people starting out, you know. Maybe they build games in their garage. Maybe they’re at an early stage and just getting funded. Then you have people who are more established or support nonprofit organizations. We have our Indie Games Accelerator and our Indie Games Festival. We have done this quite regularly over the years.

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

In 2021, Android usage on Chrome OS grew 50% year over year, driven by games. The beta version of Google Play Games for PC was rolled out in January in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. This Google-built standalone Windows PC app lets users play a catalog of Google Play games seamlessly on their mobile phone, tablet, Chromebook, or (now) Windows PC.

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

The Android Game Development Extension, introduced last year, allows game developers to build for Android directly from within Visual Studio. To facilitate debugging between Java and C, AGDE will now include cross compatibility between Android Studio and Visual Studio so that developers can 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.

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

Google is also rolling out Google Play revenue and revenue growth distributions for a game and its peer group, so developers can create revenue-based business cases for troubleshooting or device targeting, if appropriate. better to the game’s business model than using facilities.

For those with games with a global presence, Google has launched country breakdowns and filters for Vitals metrics, so it’s easier to prioritize and troubleshoot stability issues.

Google recently said its privacy sandbox, which is implemented with Chrome, will be open to the community to understand and offer feedback. As to why Google didn’t hold a GDC event, Olebe said that when Google was finalizing its plans, it was during the height of the latest Omicron wave and so it didn’t make sense to do anything. in person at that time.

“That’s really how we show our partners,” Olebe said. “The last two years have been difficult. So we wanted to make sure that we continue to have a forum where we can reach as many people as possible,” Olebe said. “At the very beginning of all this planning, nobody knew that the world was going to open up. So we did a digital format before and it worked really well.

Google estimates that we have approximately 2.5 billion active gamers worldwide in 190 countries. Google Play saw around 140 billion downloads last year, and developers have earned over $80 billion to date.

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