Google Play Games is basically Google’s set of APIs for social and multiplayer features, along with analytics and advertising tools, specifically aimed at Android game developers. Here’s a quick rundown of the new features announced at GDC:
- Native Ads: If you’ve been anywhere near the mobile marketing industry lately you’d have heard of native ads, which are like regular ads but more integrated into the app experience (no more tacky banners at the bottom of the screen). Google has announced a limited beta for its in-game native ads, allowing you to embed advertisements within in-app purchase game menus and other areas.
- In-App Purchase House Ads Beta: Developers can now target customised ads for in-app purchases to specific users who are more likely to spend money in-game. This targeted ad feature will be rolling out to all AdMob accounts in the next few weeks, says Google.
- Audience Builder: This new tool lets developers create lists of audiences based on how they use their game. The end goal being to create customised game experiences for different player types, in order to grow app revenue.
Google didn’t just announce monetisation features at GDC. The company also unveiled a new API called Nearby Connections, which lets you connect smartphones and tablets to Android TVs as a second screen device. Google said one potential use for this API could be to turn smartphones into controllers for games displayed on TV screens. See the video below.
Google’s Nearby Connection API
For more information on all of Google’s GDC announcements head over to the Google Developer blog.