If you develop games for Android and publish them via the Google Play Store, chances are you'd love anything that helps you engage with your player base, increase earnings and prevent churn, or users giving up on the game. Balancing ads to keep them from being obtrusive while still providing income, creating good in app purchases and even just making a good game in the first place are all difficult tasks to begin with, but putting them together and having just one developer (or team of developers) should can be a hectic undertaking. Google has announced that they are rolling out a tool that will help you do just that, compatible with C++, Unity and even iOS.
This new tool, called Player Analytics, is a multi-faceted reporting tool with the aim of helping developers understand how players interact with their game. The first big feature shown in the announcement was predictive analytics. By sampling players of your game's behaviors, you should be able to tell when they're jumping ship and how many of them are doing so, allowing you to create or change content in response and prevent future churn. The tool also shows engagement predictions for spending, allowing you to tweak your monetization methods in response. The second big feature, called a "funnels report", allows you to track just about anything about user interaction, including spending, achievements and time played. This could be used to see what parts of your game resonate with players and what parts don't. The third big tool rolled out with Player Analytics is the "cohorts report", a function that allows you to juxtapose reports from different time periods. The reports work mostly the same as the funnels reports, but by putting two reports side by side, you could figure out if a change you made is effective or not. For example, if an IAP costs $2.99 and isn't selling well, you might change the price to $0.99. If the cohorts report shows it still isn't doing well, it may not be an issue of price, leading to changing or nixing the item.
The new analytics system is already rolled out and ready for use via the Google Play Developer console. Developers can use a sample game developed by Google and Auxbrain, makers of Zombie Highway 2, to check out the new features. You will, however, need a Google Play Developer account to access the game. The sample game pulls anonymized data from a real game to show you how the tools work. Anybody looking to read more or check out the sample game can hit up the source link and see Google's developer post about the new tool.