At the Game Developers Conference 2019, we announced a few exciting updates to the Google Play Store, including Google Play Instant-powered playlists, live events, and new discovery surfaces that let players launch your instant game right on the spot. These updates help users better understand your game as they scroll through the store, instead of hiding the good stuff on the store listing pages. Expect to see us highlight more screenshots, videos, and instant games in the near future.
Every day, millions of users come to Google Play to discover new content. Instead of making a beeline for a particular game, we noticed that most people come to browse, which means making a good first impression is critical. A catchy title and memorable icon are important, but it’s your game content that really sets you apart. That’s why we’re making it easier than ever for players to get a feel for your game at a glance.
One big way that you can help with that discoverability is by offering your game as an instant app. Not only will this let you take advantage of these new features, it can even help improve your user acquisition. Since we launched the program last year, we’ve seen games like Galaxy Attack to Marvel Strike Force have tremendous success with their instant apps, and we’ve seen five times the growth in Google Play Instant sessions over the last 6 months.
Interestingly, users in emerging markets seem particularly receptive to instant games. Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, and Turkey constitute over half of instant sessions. If you’re planning to launch or expand your game to any of these markets, it’s a good idea to consider making Google Play Instant part of your strategy.
Want to learn more about creating an instant game? We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re starting from scratch or converting an existing game, start by reading our recommended best practices and browsing the technical FAQs. If you’ve already published your game, check out the how-to on our developer site to make the conversion simple. Make the building process easier with our new Google Play Instant plug-ins for Unity and CocosCreator, and get advice on creating an instant game in five easy steps. While that last post is specific to Unity, it offers a good look at the process of building a production-ready instant game from scratch.
We also recognize that not every developer has the time or resources to build an instant game, particularly when they are preparing for a new launch. If you’re in this situation, don’t worry — partners like AppOnboard, The Knights of Unity, Seepia, Synative, Luna Labs, and CrossInstall are here to help. Many of our partners have worked with these companies (and others) to launch Google Play Instant versions of their games, so if you’re short on time, consider reaching out.
If you’ve already created an instant game, there are still plenty of ways to optimize your game for discoverability:
- Give your game a checkup with Android vitals to keep it running smoothly. Performance on these and other quality metrics affects visibility in Google Play Store discovery algorithms as well as your app’s eligibility for editorial collections.
- Some sections of the Google Play Store show groups of recommended games using screenshots and videos. For your game to be eligible, we recommend you provide a minimum of 3 landscape screenshots and/or landscape videos (16:9). Make sure to turn off monetization for the video to avoid having ads displayed on or before your video.
- If you’ve invested in LiveOps, the new Events section in Google Play is another great way to help users discover your game as well as to re-engage existing users. You can apply for the LiveOps Cards Early Access Program here.
The new Google Play Store features are live now so it’s a great time to get your assets ready and optimize discovery for your game.
What do you think?
Do you have questions or feedback about Google Play Instant? Let us know in the comments below or tweet using #AskPlayDev and we’ll reply from @GooglePlayDev, where we regularly share news and tips on how to be successful on Google Play.