This post was originally published at Welcome to Google Developer Day at Game Developer Conference 2017

Posted by Paul Bankhead, Director, Product Management, Google Play

Mobile gaming is more popular than ever. Over the past year, we saw breakout
hits, including Pokemon
, Star
Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
, Clash
and Reigns
introduce new, high quality gaming experiences on Google Play. Gamers around the
world were also able to access Google Play more easily than ever before, helping
developers reach a larger audience and grow their businesses. In 2016, nearly
300 million new (30 day active) users adopted Android devices from emerging
markets such as India, Brazil, and Indonesia. And last year, more than 100
million new users were able to access locally relevant forms of payments (such
as direct carrier billing or gift cards) helping more people globally access and
buy their favorite apps and games on Google Play.

We’ve also focused heavily on polishing our software and hardware offerings to
improve the overall gaming experience on Android. The release of Nougat
delivered high-performance realtime 3D graphics with the Vulkan API and the
launch of Pixel phones
provided the first Daydream-ready devices tailored for immersive mobile VR.
Elsewhere, the expansion of Firebase provided the
tools and infrastructure to support developers throughout the lifecycle of their
game with features like real-time analytics, push notifications, storage, and
ads. To streamline the integration, Firebase is now completely available for C++
and Unity developers.

Today, during our annual Developer
at the Game Developers Conference, we introduced new tools to improve
the overall discovery on Google Play, especially supporting developers who build
high quality and engaging games.
  • Promoting high quality experiences based on engagement, not just
    : With the enormous variety of games available on Google Play,
    there are many instances when great games don’t get the visibility and attention
    they deserve. Recently, we’ve begun tuning our algorithms to optimize for user
    engagement, not just downloads. This is one of our ways to reward quality, which
    for games means promoting titles with stickiness (strong engagement and
    retention metrics) as well as a more traditional measure like a high star

  • Offer sales and increase purchases of premium games with
    strikethrough pricing:
    Available in the Google Play Developer Console
    starting today, strikethrough pricing allows developers to run their own price
    promotions on paid apps and games leading to greater awareness and conversion.
    During our pilot phase, developers not only saw a 3x–20x lift in installs during
    their promotions, they also maintained a nice lift once the sales ended.

  • More curation of high quality games through editorial pages:
    One more way we’ll highlight quality games is through new editorial
    pages on the Play store launching later this month. These pages allow our
    editors to hand-select games exemplifying optimal gaming experiences on Android.
    They allow users to explore different game styles and genres with editorial
    reviews on themes such as epic RPGs and top racing games.
Available for pre-registration on Google Play
    Forged to Fight
    by Kabam is a new high-definition, action-fighting
    mobile game set in an immersive world. The game will feature authentic
    Transformers “more than meets the eye” action, allowing players to engage with
    Optimus Prime, Megatron and many other popular Autobots and Decepticons in a
    stunning 3D environment. The game will be available worldwide on April 5, 2017.
  • Battle
    is a new frenetic tactical role-playing game from Epic
    Games, powered by Unreal Engine 4. A vibrant fantasy sci-fi cartoon adventure,
    Battle Breakers lets you recruit and build a dream team from hundreds of unique
    heroes to battle monsters as you take back the Kingdom, one break at a time!
  • Injustice
    lets you guide your stable of Super Heroes and Villains to
    victory. Expanding on the hit game Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2
    delivers brand new characters, tons of exciting new modes and the look and
    fighting style that NetherRealm Studios is known for. Injustice 2 will be
    available on Google Play for Android devices in May.
Coming soon
  • Virtual Rabbids is the first VR Rabbids experience on
    mobile developed by Ubisoft Montpellier in collaboration with Bucharest.
    Available this spring on Daydream, players will find themselves in some of the
    most precarious situations as they race to save the planet.
  • Beartopia is a cooperative multiplayer village game by Spry
    Fox. Make friends, work together and grow a thriving community.

Later this afternoon, we’ll host a series of lightning talks to share what it takes to launch successful VR and AR games, build
with Firebase, implement machine learning in your game, and so much more. Visit our site for more info and the Google Developer Day schedule. For those who
can’t make it in person, watch the live stream!

This is just the start of what we have planned for 2017. We hope you can make
use of these tools to improve your games, engage your audience, and grow your
business and revenue.

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This post was originally published at Welcome to Google Developer Day at Game Developer Conference 2017