What you need to know
- At its Games Summit, Google announced a bunch of tools and product updates for large-scale game developers and studios.
- The new Google Play Partner Program for Games offers unique resources to help developers speed up game releases and combat scaled abuse.
- Its play-as-you-download feature is also coming to all Android 12 devices soon.
For the past several months, Google has been beta testing a capability that lets users play many of the best Android games (opens in new tab) even if their download is still in progress. At its Games Summit this week, the search giant announced that the feature will soon exit the beta program, along with a bunch of gaming announcements.
This means Google Play's play-as-you-download capability (opens in new tab) will be rolled out to all Android 12 users. It uses crowdsourced first-play experience filesystem access patterns to let you start playing while game assets are downloaded in the background.
Google also introduced the new Google Play Partner Program to offer developers the tools they need to maintain and scale their games. However, the program's beneficiaries aren't small-time developers: it's intended for large-scale studios.
Eligible developers are those with more than $5 million in annual consumer spending on games.
In return, these developers get enhanced support from Google Play and "faster releases with a priority publishing queue." Google will also provide pre-launch tools including "pre-registration testing, access codes, and store listing experiments for pre-registration campaigns."
Developers will also be able to see device attributes across the Google Play device ecosystem.
Alongside the new program, the Mountain View-based tech giant shared new details about its Google Play Games for PC (opens in new tab) effort. The program's beta version was rolled out in January (opens in new tab) in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Now, it's expanding to more territories.
"This standalone Windows PC application built by Google, allows users to play a high-quality catalog of Google Play games seamlessly across their mobile phone, tablet, Chromebook, or (now) their Windows PC," Greg Hartrell, product director for games on Play/Android, wrote in a blog post. "Learn more and start to optimize your game for more screens today."
In addition, Google is making debugging between Android Studio and Visual Studio easier with an updated Android Game Development Extension.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.
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