Mobile game developers have to do a ton of things that aren't making games in order to better understand how to reach new audiences and keep their existing users playing. While many users rely on Google Play Games for keeping score against their friends, on the developer side there's a set of tools that feed user feedback and player activity to the developer. Today Google is announcing some significant improvements to the way developers see why users stop playing their games, as well as a few easier ways to give users more to do.
Analytics are always a critical part of mobile apps, especially when determining the churn rate. The new Player Time Series Explorer lets developers see the way each user plays the game, including where in the game they go, what buttons are pressed, what purchases are made, and at what point the users stops playing. If a game gets overly complicated or boring at one particular point, developers will be able to see that in this timeline of use and course correct as necessary.
Developers will also have access to a new suite of reports, including a 28 x 28 day retention grid and an events viewer for showing developers how users do in contest and quest modes within their games. Through a new Player Stats API, developers will be able to track down big spenders who play occasionally and zero spenders who play constantly and offer special in-game bonuses and offerings to shift their experience more towards the middle of the chart. This API also includes better welcome back messages for users who haven't played your game in a while.
Finally, the Quests section of the developer console has been improved to make it easier to quickly create quests and rewards for Google Play Games. This includes repeating Quests and a quick clone function for existing Quests, as well as a schedule function for special events developers plan to host inside their games.
For users, this means developers are going to have tools to offer better experiences for long term gameplay. It's a bunch of small steps toward a better overall gaming setup, which developers will be able to start using very soon.
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