Google officially announces Google Play Games services API


Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 9.23.22 AM

Google has officially announced a new Google Play Services API, one we all know as Google Play Games. Google Play Games will introduce services developers can build into their games to provide an all new gaming experience that features things like cloud-saving, achievements and leaderboards, low-latency multiplayer matchmaking and more. These features are rolling out today as part of a bigger Google Play Services update that is available for all Android devices with Android 2.2 or higher.

Cloud Saves

Users will be able to save their games’ progress on one device and pick right back up where they left off, whether it be on your phone, tablet, desktop browser or even — wait for it — an iOS device. It’s a major feature that folks have been asking for for quite some time. Developers like Rovio have taken it upon themselves to implement their own cloud-saving features, but this should make it easy for any developer to do the same without much effort at all.

Achievements and Leaderboards

This brings the whole Xbox Live feeling into the mix. Developers can implement achievements in their games that users will be able to earn. Said achievements will be tied to your Google account, so you’ll have a running list of nice accomplishments that you can look back on and smile about. Google’s also introducing leaderboards — you can compete with folks around the world or just those who are in your Google+ circles. Peachy.

Multipayer Matchmaking

Also along for the ride is multiplayer matchmaking. Multiplayer is a very big problem to tackle, with difficult netcode making the feature an extremely big hurdle for a lot of small developers. Google’s demo wasn’t working quite right at the WiFi-drowned Google IO keynote, but we’re promised that peer-to-peer matchups by way of Google+ friends, circles and communities would provide a nice base for developers, and that it would be easy for said developers to plug into their own games.

All of these features and more are on their way, and we couldn’t be more excited to see which developers are going to use Google Play Games to their full advantage. Be on the lookout for more information soon.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Yaaawwwwnnnnnnn

    1. FACEPALM*

  2. Niceee

  3. I’m looking forward to this new service, I Hope we get it very very soon for all of us Android Users!! :D

  4. Sharing my game progress between devices is something that I’ve missed a lot. Glad to see that it’s finally here.

    1. Word!

  5. I love that this supports iOS. This is where Apple always fails: They come up with a good idea, whatever it is, but then keep it closed. Google will take that idea, spin it into the Googleverse, and then share it with everyone. Why use the Apple Game Center when the Google version does the same thing and a lot more?

    1. Just waiting for Apple to threaten to ban apps that use Google’s service on iOS.

  6. I’d like to take this opportunity to list the games I’ve found to currently support these new games APIs:

    – PBA Bowling Challenge

    If you know of any others, let me know. Google needs to put a little logo on apps/games that support these features. I’m a tad more likely to buy a game (premium version especially) if there were achievements, leaderboards, and multiplayer. Love that cross save.

    1. – Stickman Golf 2
      – Riptide GP
      – Eufloria HD
      – Shine Runner
      – Beach Buggy Blitz
      – Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour
      – Osmos HD
      – World of Goo

      1. any other games youve seen that has this services integrated dude? thanks and happy playing!

    2. – Plague Inc.
      – iStunt 2

    3. – Mega Run: Redford’s Adventures

  7. a little confused as to how this works…so you have to be running a game that has this built in then from within the game challenge someone?

    I figured it would also include a standalone app where you could see all your achievements, challenge people to play different games from a central app, see their scores on different games and what not….something like xbox live

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