New Google Play Games Update to Bring Cross-Platform Android and iOS Gaming, Gifts from Friends

March 17, 2014 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Accidents happen, so goes the old saying, so it’s no surprise to see accidents happen in the form of blog posts or updates that weren’t quite ready to be posted yet.  Just last week we saw Google accidentally push some sort of developer version of YouTube that featured a dog bone icon instead of the regular YouTube play button, and Google fixed that one rather quickly too.  This week it looks like they hit publish on a pre-written blog post about a new Google Play Games update, and it’s a rather juicy update to be sure.  The blog post was likely meant for tomorrow’s Game Developers Conference 2014, but we’ve got the details now nonetheless.  First up the most exciting news in that Google Play Games is officially going cross-platform, with full support for both iOS and Android.  Previously Google Play Games has been an Android exclusive service, tapping into the power of Google+ to create a full-fledged profile and social networking link for all your games, making it super easy to find your friends and play games with them, as well as track high scores and the like.  While games like QuizUp use Google+ to create a cross-platform experience, it doesn’t feature the unified leaderboards and such that Google Play Games brings to the table.

That’s not all though, as Google is also releasing a Google Play Games plug-in for the popular Unity engine used in so many 3D browser-based games.  This means that you can have your Google+ sign in used for many of your favorite browser-based games once developers implement the plug-in, and can provide yet another cross-platform gameplay experience not known through the service before.  What’s more Google will also be providing Enhanced Play Games Statistics on the developer console, giving developers a better understanding of how their customers use the games they’ve built and what in-game ads are better for certain players over others.  Finally it looks like in-game gifting is going to become a thing of reality, as Google is introducing the feature to be used with your friends or enemies alike.  Essentially you’ll be able to gift or trade in-game items with anyone in your Google+ circles, giving you a new way to both help and bribe fellow players alike.  We imagine some developers will be putting restrictions on this feature, as gifting high-level items in RPGs to low-level players often leads to problems with players paying for quick level ups and the like.  We’ll find out more about this update tomorrow for sure, and hopefully Google releases the update as soon as that too.

google play games gifts