Google enhances Play Games services with iOS and Android launches

Google has launched a number of new gaming features for iOS and Android devices as part of a move to boost its Google Play Games cross-platform games service.

Greg Hartell, a member of the Google Play Games team, published an article on the Android Developers blogging website to detail the new launches.

Hartell said that Google would enhance its Play Games services by expanding multi-player to support iOS, thus bringing turn-based and real-time multi-player capabilities to both Android and iOS devices.

Google has also updated its Play Games Unity Plug-in to support cross-platform multi-player services and will additionally introduce an early Play Games C ++ SDK to support achievements and leaderboards.

In addition, Hartell said that Google is set to launch enhanced Play Games statistics on the Google Play Developer Console in order to provide easy game analytics for Play Games adopters.

Hartell said that this would allow developers to access a daily dashboard that visualises player and engagement statistics for signed-in users. This includes daily active users and retention analysis, as well as achievement and leaderboard performance.

Elsewhere, Google will also introduce a ‘Game Gifts’ feature that will allow players to send virtual in-game objects to anyone in their circles or via player search.

The Play Games app now supports multi-player invites directly while the Google Play Store will also feature 18 new game categories to further assist players.

In addition, Hartell said Google has also added new features to its AdMob platform to help developers gain more revenue from games.

Google Analytics will now be available directly in the AdMob interface to allow developers to gain deeper insights into how users are interacting with their apps.

Hartell also said that Google is “excited” about the opportunities that in-app purchase adverts will offer as the feature allows developers to target users with specific promotion to buy items within the game.

“Advertising continues to be a core vehicle driving many game developers’ success, so we’re also bringing you new ways to optimise your ads to earn the most revenue,” Hartell said.

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