Google today announced a couple of new tools for game developers on its Android platform. These include new analytics to help developers better understand in-game player behavior, as well as a number of new monetization features through its AdMob platform. Google also launched a new game-centric Nearby Connections API for Android TV, its nascent smart TV platform.
On the analytics side, Google’s new Player Analytics, which will roll out in a few weeks, is meant to help developers get a better grip on what their players do inside a game. In addition, this new report also looks at how much players are spending and what their churn rate looks like. The tool also makes it easier for developers to track average revenue and sessions per user. Google says BombSquad tested this feature and used the data it gathered to more than double its revenue per user — but then, Google wouldn’t use a game that lost users and revenue during the beta test as an example, would it?
On the monetization side, Google is launching native ads, house ads and a new “audience builder” tool. Just like native ads are slowly taking off in the publishing world, Google hopes to bring a similar experience to games. These new ads will be styled to “match the visual design of the game” — so you basically won’t immediately realize that you’re looking at an ad (which has long been the Holy Grail of advertising now that we’ve all learned to ignore it). This feature is currently in limited beta.
“In-App Purchase House Ads,” the second new feature, allows AdMob to predict which of your users are mostly likely to spend their hard-earned cash on
virtual goods because you’ve made it impossible for players to finish your game without it in-app purchases so you can show them customized ads for promoting those in-app items. This feature is now in beta and will roll out to all AdMob users in the next few weeks.
The last new AdMob feature is the so-called “Audience Builder.” While that sounds like a tool for building audiences, it’s actually a “powerful tool that enables game developers to create lists of audiences based on how they use their game.” Using that, developers will be able to customize their games for different kinds of users.