Tag Archives: Google Play

Evolving our business model to address developer needs

Posted by Sameer Samat, Vice President, Product Management

When we started Android and Google Play more than a decade ago, we made a bet that a free and open mobile ecosystem could compete with the proprietary walled gardens that dominated the industry. It wasn’t yet clear what kinds of businesses would move to mobile or what apps would be successful. To keep things simple, we went with an easy-to-understand business model: The vast majority of developers could distribute their apps on Google Play for free (currently 97% do so at no charge). For the developers who offered a paid app or sold in-app digital goods (currently just 3% of developers), the flat service fee was 30%. This model helped apps to become one of the fastest-growing software segments. And instead of charging licensing fees for our OS, our service fee allowed us to continually invest in Android and Play while making them available for free to device makers all over the world.

The creativity and innovation from developers around the world spurred amazing new app experiences we could have never imagined when we first introduced Android. As the ecosystem evolved, a wider range of business models emerged to support these different types of apps. We've made important changes along the way, including moving beyond a “one size fits all” service fee model to ensure all types of businesses can be successful. Instead of a single service fee, we now have multiple programs designed to support and encourage our diverse app ecosystem.

The result is that 99% of developers qualify for a service fee of 15% or less. And after learning from and listening to developers across many industries and regions, including developers like Anghami, AWA, Bumble, Calm, Duolingo, KADOKAWA, KKBOX, Picsart, and Smule, we're announcing additional changes to further support our ecosystem of partners and help them build sustainable businesses, and ensure Play continues to lead in the mobile app ecosystem.

Decreasing service fees on subscriptions to 15%

Digital subscriptions have become one of the fastest growing models for developers but we know that subscription businesses face specific challenges in customer acquisition and retention. We’ve worked with our partners in dating, fitness, education and other sectors to understand the nuances of their businesses. Our current service fee drops from 30% to 15% after 12 months of a recurring subscription. But we’ve heard that customer churn makes it challenging for subscription businesses to benefit from that reduced rate. So, we’re simplifying things to ensure they can.

To help support the specific needs of developers offering subscriptions, starting on January 1, 2022, we're decreasing the service fee for all subscriptions on Google Play from 30% to 15%, starting from day one.

For developers offering subscriptions, this means that first-year subscription fees will be cut in half. We’ve already gotten positive feedback from our developer partners on this change:

“Our partnership with Google has been a powerful one for our business, helping us to scale and ultimately playing a key role in advancing our mission to empower women globally. The pricing change they’ve announced will allow us to better invest in our products and further empower users to confidently connect online.”
– Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO, Bumble Inc.
"Just as every person learns in different ways, every developer is different as well. We're excited to see Google continuing to collaborate with the ecosystem to find models that work for both the developer and platform. This reduction in subscription fees will help Duolingo accelerate our mission of universally available language learning."
- Luis von Ahn, Co-Founder and CEO of Duolingo.

Going further with cross platform experiences

While apps remain incredibly important for mobile phones, great services must now also span TVs, cars, watches, tablets and more. And we recognize that developers need to invest in building for those platforms now more than ever.

Earlier this year we launched the Play Media Experience program to encourage video, audio and book developers alike to help grow the Android platform by building amazing cross-device experiences. This helped developers invest in these multi-screen experiences with a service fee as low as 15%.

Today, we’re also making changes to the service fee in the Media Experience program, to better accommodate differences in these categories. Ebooks and on-demand music streaming services, where content costs account for the majority of sales, will now be eligible for a service fee as low as 10%. The new rates recognize industry economics of media content verticals and make Google Play work better for developers and the communities of artists, musicians and authors they represent. You can go here for more information.

We will continue to engage with developers to understand their challenges and opportunities — and how we can best support them in building sustainable businesses. It’s a theme that will be front and center at the Android Developer Summit on October 27-28, where you’ll hear more about our latest tools, application programming interfaces (APIs) and technologies designed to help developers be more productive and create better apps.

If you’re looking for more information about Google Play and its service fees, we've answered some common questions here.

Get the new Pixel and more, with Pixel Pass

Today, we introduced the new Pixel 6 and Pixel Pro, and we’re also announcing a whole new way to get them. Pixel Pass brings together the latest Pixel phone with Google’s best mobile services, device protection and regular device upgrades — all in one easy subscription.

Pixel Pass is $45 per month for the Pixel 6 and $55 per month for the Pixel 6 Pro. With both Pixel Pass plans, you’ll get the most personal and helpful phone we’ve ever created, combined with the best of Google services to get the most out of your new device. That includes:

  • YouTube Premium for ad-free watching and background play while using other apps
  • YouTube Music Premium for ad-free, uninterrupted listening
  • Google One with 200 GB of safe, reliable cloud storage for full resolution photos and videos, Google Store discounts, automatic phone backup and more
  • Google Play Pass with access to hundreds of games and apps completely free of ads and in-app purchases
  • Preferred Care coverage to cover life’s little accidents with hassle-free device repairs

You can subscribe to Pixel Pass on the Google Store or with a phone plan on Google Fi. When you subscribe to Pixel Pass on the Google Store, you save up to $294 over two years. Plus, your Pixel phone is unlocked, so it works with all major carriers. And if you subscribe through Google Fi with a phone plan, you can save an additional $5 off your monthly Fi plan, totaling up to $414 in savings over two years.

Once you’re subscribed to Pixel Pass, you can manage everything in one place and pay with just one low monthly bill. And if you try it out and it’s just not right for you, you can cancel anytime — just pay off the remaining value of your Pixel phone at regular price.

Pixel Pass with Pixel 6 is available for pre-order today in the U.S. starting at $45 per month on Google Store or Google Fi.

Launching Data safety in Play Console: Elevating Privacy and Security for your users

Posted by Krish Vitaldevara, Director, Product Management

Illustration of a phone with a security symbol

We know that a big part of feeling safe online is having control over your data. That’s why every day we’re committed to empowering users with advanced security and privacy controls and increased agency with respect to data practices. With the new Data safety section, developers will now have a transparent way to show users if and how they collect, share, and protect user data, before users install an app.

Starting today, we’re rolling out the Data safety form in Google Play Console. We’ve also listened to your feedback, so to provide developers with additional guidance, we’re sharing helpful information in our Help Center, developer guide, Play Academy course, and more. Following our common protocols, we'll begin gradual rollout today and expect to expand access to everyone within a couple of weeks.


How to submit your app information in Play Console

Starting today, you can go to App content in your Play Console and look for a new section called “Data safety.” We recommend that you review the guidance and submit your form early so you can get review feedback and make changes before rejected forms prevent you from publishing new app updates. Developers have told us that early feedback would help them fill out the form correctly before users see the Data safety section in February 2022. The enforcement on apps without approved forms starts April 2022.

We understand that completing the form may require a meaningful amount of work, so we built the product and timeline based on developer feedback to make this process as streamlined as possible. Also, developers have asked for a way to more easily import information when they have multiple apps. Therefore, we’ve added an option for developers to import a pre-populated file.


How to get prepared


What your users will see in your app's store listing starting February

Image of app store data privacy and security section. Text reads Developers can showcase key privacy and security practices at a glance

Users will first see the Data safety summary in your store listing. Your app profile will show what data an app collects or shares and highlight safety details, such as whether:

  • The app has security practices, like data encryption in transit
  • The app has committed to follow our Families policy
  • The app has been independently reviewed for conformance with a global security standard
Image of phone data privacy and security. Text reads Developers can share what their app collects and why, so users can download with confidence
GIF of location settings. text reads developers can explain how the data is used

Users can tap the summary to see more details like:

  • What type of data is collected and shared, such as location, contacts, personal information (e.g., name, email address), financial information, and more
  • How the data is used, such as for app functionality, personalization, and more
  • Whether data collection is optional or required in order to use an app

Users have shared that seeing this information helps them understand how some apps may handle their information and feel more trusting about certain apps.


What to expect

Image shows timeline. May '21 pre anouncement. July '21 policy is available. October '21 developers can start declaring information in Google Play Console. Febryary '22 users can start seeing the section on Google Play. April '22 deadline for developers to declare information

Timeline dates subject to change.


You can submit your Data safety form in the Play Console now for early review feedback. You are not required to submit an app update in order to submit your safety profile.

In February 2022, we will launch this feature in the Play store. If your information is approved, your store listing will automatically update with your data safety information. If your information has not been submitted or has been rejected, your users will see “No information available.”

image of data privacy and security settings

By April 2022, all your apps must have their Data safety section approved. While we want as many apps as possible to be ready for the February 2022 consumer experience, we know that some developers will need more time to assess their apps and coordinate with multiple teams.

Also by April, all apps must also provide a privacy policy. Previously, only apps that collected personal and sensitive user data needed to share a privacy policy. Without an approved section or privacy policy, your new app submissions or app updates may be rejected. Non-compliant apps may face additional enforcement actions in the future.

Thank you for your continued partnership in building this feature alongside us and in making Google Play a safe and trustworthy platform for everyone.

Quicksave: Celebrating two years of Play Pass

Play Pass launched two years ago to offer a new way to experience Google Play. Subscribers have enjoyed all-you-can-play access to hundreds of games and apps, completely free of ads or in-app purchases, with new titles added monthly. And we’ve been pretty busy since then. Play Pass is now available in 90+ countries and after launching with 350+ titles, we’ve added nearly 600 more to make your subscription even better with new content to discover every month. This includes 100+ teacher-approved titles, giving parents and kids access to great games and learning apps completely free of ads or in-app purchases.

To celebrate the past two years, we’re highlighting 10 titles we think best show what Play Pass has to offer. If you want to keep the party going, you can dive into our full catalog of 950+ titles, and check out the new additions every month.

10 titles we ❤️

Very Little Nightmares mobile puzzle adventure game image with a cute and creepy universe to explore

Very Little Nightmares

Explore this cute and creepy mobile puzzle adventure game.

PRICE: $6.99 Free with Google Play Pass subscription

Help the girl in the yellow raincoat escape a mansion full of different fates. Explore, solve, survive and discover everything in the eerie, fun world of Very Little Nightmares.

Beach Buggy Racing mobile racing game image with race cars, karts, dune buggies, rally cars, flying skulls, fire, all on a beach.

Beach Buggy Racing

Check out the action-packed, surprise-filled sequel to Beach Buggy Blitz.

PRICE: Free (No in-app purchases with Google Play Pass subscription)

Drivers start your engines — and your power-ups. Beach Buggy Racing lets you pick and customize your ride so you’re ready for anything your rivals throw at you. Explore 15 different tracks with over 30 million players worldwide.

Stardew Valley open-ended farming RPG is on your mobile device with houses, farms, ponds, and animals.

Stardew Valley

Start cultivating your very own farm in this award-winning, open-ended RPG.

PRICE: $4.99 Free with Google Play Pass subscription

Build the farm of your dreams, raise happy animals, plant your crops and reap what you’ve sown…in a good way! Stardew Valley gives you the freedom to play your way, from tending to your harvest to taking on quests, and enjoy the surprises along the way.

Football Manager 2021 Mobile with football players in purple jerseys, also soccer players, on a pitch, also a field, in front of fans ready to win.

Football Manager 2021 Mobile

You’re in control of your very own club. Now, who will lead you to glory?

PRICE: $9.99 Free with Google Play Pass subscription

Develop your team, build your strategy and watch your managerial skills play out as you chase your championship with Football Manager 2021 Mobile.

Photo Studio PRO app with sharp colors and graphics including effects, manipulation, modification and design of photographs, images and pictures on your mobile device.

Photo Studio PRO

Make each shot your perfect shot with Photo Studio PRO.

PRICE: $9.99 Free (No in-app purchases with Google Play Pass subscription)

Powerful photo manipulation and touch-up tools fit for photographers of any skill level. Choose from effects, filters, text-editing and more ready-to-use features.

Learny Land collection of 14 educational games including Extraordinary Women, My Green City, What Were Dinosaurs Like?, What’s In The Oceans?, Code the Robot. Save the Cat, and more.

Learny Land Collection

Interactive educational games that help children learn about the world around them.

PRICE: $2.99/app Free with Google Play Pass subscription

With the Learny Land collection, your child can explore 14 different educational game apps focused on everything from history’s extraordinary women to coding to bugs, pirates, animals, dinosaurs and beyond. Easy to use with beautiful designs that make learning fun.

Terraria multiplayer mobile game featuring underground exploration, trees, dirt, gems, creepy things, goblins and a heroic knight in shining silver armor carrying a pickaxe and torch.

Terraria

The all-new Terraria is rebuilt for mobile from the ground up.

PRICE: $4.99 Free with Google Play Pass subscription

Fight for survival, fortune and glory in this massive adventure game. Dig, build and explore while taking on clever enemies in expansive worlds. How you play is up to you!

Pocket City mobile city-building game with a view of a customizable city with roads, bridges, buildings, stores, businesses, and schools, as well as residential, commercial and industrial zones.

Pocket City

You’re the mayor now, dog!

PRICE: $2.99 Free with Google Play Pass subscription

Build your city with no microtransactions between you and your dreams. Plan and design your city, complete quests, earn XP and unlock tons of new things like building upgrades and new terrain.

Kingdom Rush Vengeance mobile game with castles, creatures, monsters, arrows, mountains and a fantasy world filled with fun.

Kingdom Rush Vengeance - Tower Defense Game

Take on entire empires and clash with the biggest bosses.

PRICE: $4.99 Free with Google Play Pass subscription

Show the Kingdom who’s the real boss with 13 powerful heroes at your command, new towers plus dozens of upgrades, enemies, trinkets, collectibles and otherworldly loot to discover along the way.

The Escapists 2: Pocket Breakout mobile game featuring a jailbreak with four different cartoon characters escaping a prison while solving puzzles and avoiding capture.

The Escapists 2: Pocket Breakout

The hilariously thrilling sandbox strategy game is back.

PRICE: $6.99 Free with Google Play Pass subscription

Decide how to run your life on the inside as you plan your big breakout. Collect information and items, craft your tools and bust up whoever gets in your way…or just bribe them.

No need for FOMO: Check out everything that’s been added since August 1, 2021

Action

Pet Run - Puppy Dog Game

Spirit Roots

Adventure

Argo's Choice: Offline Visual Novel Adventure Game

Bathory - The Bloody Countess

Beholder

Beholder 2

Do Not Feed The Monkeys

Hidden City Adventure

Reventure

TOHU

Very Little Nightmares

Arcade

Portal Dogs

Rat On A Skateboard

STRIKERS 1999

Board

Draughts

One Deck Dungeon

Books and Reference

Nighty Night - Bedtime Story

Card

Cribbage JD

Casual

DC Super Hero Girls Blitz

Marble Legend Pro

Pets Hair Salon

Pocket Clothier

Educational

Garage Master

Peppa Pig: Holiday

Play 123, Alfie Atkins

Troy the Letters & Numbers Train: Preschool Lesson

Urban City Stories

Entertainment

Little Hospital

Health and Fitness

Rootd - Panic Attack & Anxiety Relief

Parenting

Happy Kids Timer Morning & Evening Routine Chores

Personalization

Emoji store

Puzzle

Alt-Frequencies

Bob - Puzzle games for kids, free jigsaw puzzles

Cosmic Express

Doors: Origins

Escape Logan Estate

Escape Machine City

Faraway 4: Ancient Escape

Escape Funky Island

Faraway: Galactic Escape

Faraway: Tropic Escape

Legacy 3 - The Hidden Relic

Mindsweeper: Puzzle Adventure

Number Blocks Puzzles

Puzzlerama - Lines, Dots, Blocks, Pipes & more!

SARKWO

Through Abandoned

Tiny Robots Recharged

Racing

Beach Buggy Racing

Car Eats Car 3 - Hill Climb Chase Race

Drift Mania: Street Outlaws Pro

Super Arcade Racing

Roleplaying

Hyena Squad

Prison Life RPG

Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North

The Letter - Scary Horror Choice Visual Novel Game

Strategy

The Bonfire 2: Uncharted Shores Survival Adventure

Simulation

8-Bit Farm

Railways

Sports

Mike V: Skateboard Party

Skateboard Party 3

Skate Jam - Pro Skateboarding

Improved Google Play Console user management: access requests, permission groups, and more

Posted by Mike Yerou, Software Engineer, Google Play

PlayConsole revamped user management header

User management is an important responsibility for businesses of all sizes. The challenge is to make sure that every team member has the right set of permissions to fulfill their responsibilities, but without overexposing unrelated business data.

Over the years, you’ve asked us for better user and permission management tools in Play Console to help you handle growth efficiently and with confidence. And with the redesigned Google Play Console, we did just that. We decluttered the interface to make it easier to find what you want, and added new features to help you manage your teams easier.


Users and Permissions screen

The users and permissions page has been redesigned to make it easier for admins to manage their teams.


Permission names and descriptions were rewritten to make it easier to understand what you are — and aren’t — allowing users to do. You’ll also see clearer differentiation between account and app-level permissions.

New search, filtering, and batch-editing capabilities allowed you to quickly view and act on a subset of users.

And finally, to make auditing easier, we added a CSV export functionality for users of a developer account.


New access requests

While admins generally set permissions for users, you told us it would be helpful to allow users to request permissions as they figure out what’s required for their workflow. Well, now they can. Admins will still need to approve the request, but empowering users to ask for the exact permissions they need is a significant time-saver for admins.

In Play Console, users will now see a “Request access” button next to each action that is supported but not enabled due to missing permissions. To request the permission, users need to include an explanation of their need to the admin. Admins will be notified via their Inbox and can grant the permission for the specific user and app, reject it once, or reject it permanently to prevent users misusing the feature. Currently, this function is only supported for app permissions.


Request access GIF

Team members can now request access for specific permissions.


New permission groups

When companies reach a certain size, it’s not uncommon for more than one person to have the same role, such as project managers or designers. When that happens, admins may find themselves assigning the same set of permissions over and over again.

To save you time, we recently introduced permission groups. Admins can now create a group with a set of permissions, and when a user is added to that group, they will inherit those permissions automatically. You can even choose to have the permissions in that group expire after a certain date. Users can be in multiple groups, and these groups can have overlapping permissions. We hope you’ll be able to use permission groups to improve your own working practices and encourage greater delegation and ease of user management.

We hope these new changes help you improve admin productivity and help your team get the most out of Play Console. To learn more about managing permissions, check out our Help Center.


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Google Play logo

Check out the highlights from the Indie Games Festival

Every year Google Play, hosts the Indie Games Festival, a competition that rewards high quality indie games with promotional opportunities and supports small mobile games developers. We also host the Indie Games Accelerator, an educational and mentorship program to help high potential studios grow their business. 

Last weekend, some of the best indie game creators from Europe, South Korea and Japan, as well as players from around the world, got together at the Festival’s finals. At this interactive virtual event, players had the chance to discover these creative games, meet the people who made them and had a lot of fun exploring, collecting swag and cheering on their favorites. 

We also revealed the Top 10 finalists and Festival winners in each region, as well as the studios  selected to join the Indie Games Accelerator class of 2021.

Without further ado, here are the winners!

Indie Games Festival Winners 

Europe

Indie Games Festival - Winners | Europe. The 3 winning games have a graphic from their game featured on this banner. Blobby is seen with a party popper that is shooting out paper streamers in celebration of the winners.

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom
Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia
Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden


Korea

Indie Games Festival - Winners | South Korea. The 3 winning games have a graphic from their game featured on this banner. Blobby is seen with a party popper that is shooting out paper streamers in celebration of the winners.

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA
Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games
The Way Home by CONCODE

Users’ Choice aware: Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve


Japan

Indie Games Festival - Winners | Japan. The 3 winning games have a graphic from their game featured on this banner. Blobby is seen with a party popper that is shooting out paper streamers in celebration of the winners.

Mousebusters by Odencat
Quantum Transport by ruccho
Survivor's guilt by aso
Student Category Award: Japanese Train Drive Simulator 2 "OneMan2" by HAKOT

Also check out the top 10 finalists in Europe, South Korea and Japan.


Indie Games Accelerator Class of 2021

Americas 

  • Aoca Game Lab, Brazil

  • Berimbau Game Studio, Brazil

  • Boomware Studio, Peru

  • Concrete Software, USA

  • Delotech Games, Brazil

  • DreamCraft Entertainment, Inc., USA

  • Ingames, Argentina

  • Ludare Games Group Inc., Canada

  • Whitethorn Games, USA

Europe, Middle East & Africa

  • Cleverside Ltd, Belarus

  • Dali Games, Poland

  • Firegecko Ltd, United Kingdom

  • Hot Siberians, Russia

  • Infinity Games, Portugal

  • Itatake, Sweden

  • Jimjum Studios, Israel

  • LIVA Interactive, Tunisia 

  • Pale Blue Interactive, South Africa

  • Pine Studio, Croatia

  • Platonic Games, Spain

  • SMOKOKO LTD, Bulgaria

  • Spooky House Studios, Germany

Asia Pacific

  • Banjiha Games, South Korea

  • CATS BY STUDIO, South Korea

  • dc1ab pte. Ltd., Singapore

  • Dreams & Co., Thailand

  • Gamestacy Entertainment, India

  • izzle Inc., South  Korea

  • Limin Development and Investment Joint Stock Company, Vietnam 

  • Mugshot Games Pty Ltd,  Australia

  • Odencat Inc., Japan

  • Playbae, India

  • Xigma Games, India

  • XOGAMES Inc., South Korea

  • YOMI Studio, Vietnam


Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to the selected games and studios. Stay tuned for more updates on @GooglePlayDev.

Celebrating some of the best indie games

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

Indie Games Accelerator - Meet the Class of 2021, Indie Games Festival - Meet the winners

In June this year we opened applications for our Indie Games Accelerator, a mentorship program to help top mobile game startups achieve their full potential, as well as for our Indie Games Festival, a competition open to small game studios who get the opportunity to win promotions and be featured on Google Play. These annual programs are part of our commitment to helping all developers thrive in the Google ecosystem.

We received thousands of applications from developers across the world and we were truly amazed by the response. We’re impressed by the innovation and passion of the indie game community, and the unique and creative games they bring to players worldwide.

Last month we announced the Festival finalists and today we hosted the finals.

This year, for the first time, the events were virtual so everyone could attend. Players from around the world joined the adventure, met the finalists, played their games, and cheered on the Top 10 and the winners as they were announced on stage.

We also took the opportunity to announce the Indie Games Accelerator selected class of 2021.

screenshot of Europe stage

Our deepest thanks to our amazing hosts: YouTube creator Papfi, Japanese comedians Kajisak and Kikuchiusotsukanai, and Inho Chung, who all shared their unique expertise and love of games.

Without further ado, here are this year's Festival winners…

Indie Games Festival Winners

Europe

Indie Games Festival Winners | Europe

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Korea

Indie Games Festival Winners | South Korea

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE


Users' Choice

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

Japan

Indie Games Festival Winners | Japan

Mousebusters by Odencat

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Survivor's guilt by aso


Student Category Award

Japanese Train Drive Simulator 2 "OneMan2" by HAKOT


Check out the top 10 finalists in Europe, South Korea and Japan.

Indie Games Accelerator Class of 2021

The selected studios will receive exclusive education and mentorship over the 12 week program, to help them build and grow successful businesses.

Americas 


Aoca Game Lab, Brazil

Berimbau Game Studio, Brazil

Boomware Studio, Peru

Concrete Software, USA

Delotech Games, Brazil

DreamCraft Entertainment, Inc., USA

Ingames, Argentina

Ludare Games Group Inc., Canada

Whitethorn Games, USA

Asia Pacific


Banjiha Games, South Korea

CATS BY STUDIO, South Korea

dc1ab pte. Ltd., Singapore

Dreams & Co., Thailand

Gamestacy Entertinment, India

izzle Inc., South  Korea

Limin Development and Investment Joint Stock Company, Vietnam 

Mugshot Games Pty Ltd,  Australia

Odencat Inc., Japan

Playbae, India

Xigma Games, India

XOGAMES Inc., South Korea

YOMI Studio, Vietnam

Europe, Middle East & Africa


Cleverside Ltd, Belarus

Dali Games, Poland

Firegecko Ltd, United Kingdom

Hot Siberians, Russia

Infinity Games, Portugal

Itatake, Sweden

Jimjum Studios, Israel

LIVA Interactive, Tunisia 

Pale Blue Interactive, South Africa

Pine Studio, Croatia

Platonic Games, Spain

SMOKOKO LTD, Bulgaria

Spooky House Studios, Germany


If you missed the finals

If you missed the finals or would like to explore further, you can still sign in and wander around the space but only for a limited time. Explore now.

How useful did you find this blog post?

Celebrating some of the best indie games

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

Indie Games Accelerator - Meet the Class of 2021, Indie Games Festival - Meet the winners

In June this year we opened applications for our Indie Games Accelerator, a mentorship program to help top mobile game startups achieve their full potential, as well as for our Indie Games Festival, a competition open to small game studios who get the opportunity to win promotions and be featured on Google Play. These annual programs are part of our commitment to helping all developers thrive in the Google ecosystem.

We received thousands of applications from developers across the world and we were truly amazed by the response. We’re impressed by the innovation and passion of the indie game community, and the unique and creative games they bring to players worldwide.

Last month we announced the Festival finalists and today we hosted the finals.

This year, for the first time, the events were virtual so everyone could attend. Players from around the world joined the adventure, met the finalists, played their games, and cheered on the Top 10 and the winners as they were announced on stage.

We also took the opportunity to announce the Indie Games Accelerator selected class of 2021.

screenshot of Europe stage

Our deepest thanks to our amazing hosts: YouTube creator Papfi, Japanese comedians Kajisak and Kikuchiusotsukanai, and Inho Chung, who all shared their unique expertise and love of games.

Without further ado, here are this year's Festival winners…

Indie Games Festival Winners

Europe

Indie Games Festival Winners | Europe

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Korea

Indie Games Festival Winners | South Korea

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE


Users' Choice

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

Japan

Indie Games Festival Winners | Japan

Mousebusters by Odencat

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Survivor's guilt by aso


Student Category Award

Japanese Train Drive Simulator 2 "OneMan2" by HAKOT


Check out the top 10 finalists in Europe, South Korea and Japan.

Indie Games Accelerator Class of 2021

The selected studios will receive exclusive education and mentorship over the 12 week program, to help them build and grow successful businesses.

Americas 


Aoca Game Lab, Brazil

Berimbau Game Studio, Brazil

Boomware Studio, Peru

Concrete Software, USA

Delotech Games, Brazil

DreamCraft Entertainment, Inc., USA

Ingames, Argentina

Ludare Games Group Inc., Canada

Whitethorn Games, USA

Asia Pacific


Banjiha Games, South Korea

CATS BY STUDIO, South Korea

dc1ab pte. Ltd., Singapore

Dreams & Co., Thailand

Gamestacy Entertinment, India

izzle Inc., South  Korea

Limin Development and Investment Joint Stock Company, Vietnam 

Mugshot Games Pty Ltd,  Australia

Odencat Inc., Japan

Playbae, India

Xigma Games, India

XOGAMES Inc., South Korea

YOMI Studio, Vietnam

Europe, Middle East & Africa


Cleverside Ltd, Belarus

Dali Games, Poland

Firegecko Ltd, United Kingdom

Hot Siberians, Russia

Infinity Games, Portugal

Itatake, Sweden

Jimjum Studios, Israel

LIVA Interactive, Tunisia 

Pale Blue Interactive, South Africa

Pine Studio, Croatia

Platonic Games, Spain

SMOKOKO LTD, Bulgaria

Spooky House Studios, Germany


If you missed the finals

If you missed the finals or would like to explore further, you can still sign in and wander around the space but only for a limited time. Explore now.

How useful did you find this blog post?

Making Ratings and Reviews better for users and developers

Posted by Tom Grinsted, Scott Lin, and Tat Yang Koh, Product Managers at Google Play


Illustration of person holding phone looking at 4 star rating

Ratings and reviews are important. They provide valuable quantitative and qualitative feedback on your users’ reported experience of your app or game, and the broader service that you offer. That’s why they’re one of the signals people use when deciding what to download on Google Play.

We’ve heard from both Play Store users and developers that ratings and reviews could be more helpful. This is especially true when ratings from one area unfairly impact another — like when a bug that only impacted a single country negatively affects the app’s rating everywhere; or when positive improvements in a tablet experience are overlooked because of the number of users on phones. So we’re starting a multi-quarter program of improvements to make ratings more personalized and indicative of the experience each individual user can expect, and to make them easier to navigate and use for developers:

  • From November 2021, users on phones will start to see ratings specific to their registered country
  • Early in 2022 users on other form-factors such as tablets, Chromebooks, and wearables will start to see ratings specific to the device that they’re on

We understand that many developers closely monitor the ratings that their potential users see, so we’re making sure you have plenty of notice about these upcoming changes. We’ve also made enhancements to Play Console to help you understand your ratings and reviews - especially across form-factors.

Changes to Google Play Console

Device type insights

Expanding your support for different device types is one of the most important and impactful changes you can make to your user interfaces. Adding tablet-optimized layouts or better mouse and keyboard support for Chrome OS can result in a step-change in the quality of your users’ experience, which in turn influences their ratings and reviews.

New Device type ratings insights are available in Play Console 
ratings overview and breakdown pages

New Device type ratings insights are available in Play Console ratings overview and breakdown pages

To make it easier to spot opportunities across various device types and track the impact of enhanced experiences, we’ve added new Device Type dimensions to the ratings page. We’ve also added a Device Type filter to your reviews so you can easily see how your tablet users are rating you, or what your users on Chrome OS say in their reviews.

More flexible date and period selections

Many of you have told us that you want to access more granular data than our selectors allowed. So, we’ve broken down your segmentation options and made them easier to use. You can now independently select the time period you want to plot (from the last 28 days through to your app’s complete lifetime), and how you want your ratings data to be aggregated (daily, weekly, or every 28 days). This allows you to access more granular data over longer periods of time.

Select any time range and aggregation period independently 
to find the ratings data you want

Select any time range and aggregation period independently to find the ratings data you want

Download data easily

We’ve also enabled CSV downloads of your average data and rating distributions. Combined with the new data selection options, you can easily query and download much more of your data and perform offline analysis. For example, you could download your entire history of daily ratings distributions and correlate it in a spreadsheet with customer service contacts.

Access and download all your data including ratings breakdowns 
directly from the overview page

Access and download all your data including ratings breakdowns directly from the overview page

All of these changes are live in Play Console now. Visit Ratings analysis and Reviews to try them out.*

Upcoming changes to ratings in Google Play

Ratings help people decide which apps to download and they are taken into consideration for featuring and placement on Play Store. But because the app experience can vary depending on the user’s region and device type, aggregate ratings don’t always tell the whole story. That’s why, starting in November 2021, we’re going to change the ratings that individual users see based on where they’re registered, and later in the year what device they’re using.

From November, this means that users on phones will see specific ratings for the country or region they’re based in. So a user in Japan will see app ratings generated from those submitted by other Japanese users.

Early next year we’ll further update ratings to reflect the device type users are browsing Play on, whether it’s: tablets and foldables, Chrome OS, Wear, or Auto. This will give users a better impression of the experience that they can expect for the device they’re using. We recommend you take a look at your form-factor ratings today - especially for tablets where growth is very strong - to see if you should invest in optimising your users’ experiences.

We understand that as a developer you will want to make sure you understand and get ahead of any major shifts in your user-visible ratings. So at least 10 weeks before any change in Play Store, we’ll automatically analyze the change your app can expect to see and reach out to any developer that will see a change of more that 0.2 stars on any device type in a key market (one with >5% of your store listing visitors). This will give you time to plan if you want to make key changes to your app.

These changes in Google Play will start to roll out from November with country or region-specific ratings. Look out for messages about your ratings in your Play Console Inbox towards the end of this year, and don’t forget that you can get ahead by checking your ratings by country and device-type today.

*Please note you need a Play Console account to access these links.

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Cheer on the finalists of our Indie Games Festival

On September 4, we’re celebrating some of the best indie talent on Google Play during the Indie Games Festival finals for Europe, Japan and South Korea. This year the three festivals are virtual, so you can join us to discover the games, meet the developers who created them, cheer them on and be the first to hear who the winners are. 


In June we kicked off the Indie Games Festival – a competition to celebrate the innovation and creativity that indie developers bring to Google Play. We received thousands of submissions, showing our judges how unique and diverse our games developer community is. 


The panel of judges have now selected 20 games in each region – listed below – to go forward to the finals on September 4. Each finalist receives exclusive promotions and prizes that give their games the recognition they deserve. 


So, don’t miss out. Expect plenty of fun and some very special surprises. Sign up now to virtually attend the festivals for Europe, Japan and South Korea. The events are free to attend and will all take place in the same space, so sign up to one and you will be able to teleport to all events!  

Blobby, the Indie Games Festival mascot, is standing up on a stage with a microphone to announce the finalists of the Europe competition. All finalist icons are on the banner.

Europe


Beat Workers by NaturalPad Games, France

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Figment by Bedtime Digital Games, Denmark

Froglike: The Frog Roguelike by Jimjum Studios, Israel

Garson by Anastasiya Shabunia, Belarus

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Lyxo by Emoak, Austria

Psychofunk by Tommy Søreide Kjær, Norway

Railways by Infinity Games, Portugal

Sticky Terms by kamibox, Germany

Sweet Sins Superstars by Platonic Games, Spain

Tiny Robots Recharged by Big Loop Studios, Bulgaria

Tofu Drifter by Roach Games, Russia

Towers by JOX Development, Ukraine

Unholy Adventure by Dali Games, Poland

Warplane Inc by Nuclear Games, Russia

Watch Me Stream My Mental Breakdown by Ultaan Games, Poland

Woof: The Good Boy Story by CHPV.GAMES, Russia

Zen Symmetry by 8tbl, Russia


Sign up to attend the European finals.
Blobby, the Indie Games Festival mascot, is standing up on a stage with a microphone to announce the finalists of the Japan competition. All finalist icons are on the banner.

Japan


3D Chess: NOCCA NOCCA by Curiouspark, Inc.

5colors in Nate by NekodoraSoft

Amabie san by HARAPECORPORATION Inc.

Archer Battle Online by Takuya Fujieda

Cthulhu DreamStairs by Tenyu

ElectriarCode by ELECTRIAR LABO / Blue

Escape from the Closed Circle by Hanachiru

Heart  of Sengoku by ZEN APP

Leaving Two Tiles Dojo by ScreenPocket

Living in the Ending World by illuCalab.

MAKOTO WAKAIDO’s Case Files “Executioner’s Wedge” by HafHaf-Oden (Sukashiuma-LAB)

Mini Mini Farm by CoffeeBreak

MonohakobiPro by CGO

Mousebusters by Odencat

Numpurr Card Wars by Nukenin

Parasite Days by Zxima

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Super Glitter Rush by tiny cactus studio

Survivor's guilt by aso

Wolf Chess by baton inc.


Sign up to attend the Japanese finals.
Blobby, the Indie Games Festival mascot, is standing up on a stage with a microphone to announce the finalists of the South Korea competition. All finalist logos are on the banner.

South Korea


Angel Saga by Alchemist Games Inc.

Animal Card Royale by Banjihagames

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

BattleLive: Zombie&Human by PLOTRICK

Box It Up! Inc. by team TAPE

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Cats are Cute: Pop Time by kkiruk studio

Detective Mio by 1N1

Dicast: Rules of Chaos by BSS COMPANY

Forest Island by Nanali Studios

Frontier of Fortune by Dotomchi Games Inc.

FUNKYGUNNER by FUNKY5

Group Project Simulator! by Studio806

Gun Tactics by Gimle Games

Hybrid Warrior: Dungeon of the Overlord by Cat Lab

Metro Blossom by The Sane Studio

Portal Dungeon by Oblique Line

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE

Titan Slayer by Touchholic


Sign up to attend the South Korean finals


PS: Curious to hear who was selected for the Indie Games Accelerator? Attend the European Festival to find out!