Google has never shied away from developer advocacy in the Play Store, and their newest actions are aimed at helping developers and quality content get discovered among the sea of content out there. Today, as part of the proceedings for Google Developer Day in the Game Developers Conference, Google revealed that they are revamping Google Play's app promotion algorithms to take user engagement into account, allowing developers of paid games and apps to create their own sales and limited-time price reductions, and starting to create editorial pages for some of the best games to give curators on Google Play a chance to tell prospective downloaders exactly why a game is great. Google has also dusted off Google Play's pre-registration function by putting a new Transformers game, Injustice 2, a new joint from Epic Games called Battle Breakers, and 2 VR games up for pre-registration.
The algorithm that automatically promotes some games and apps on Google Play will no longer judge games by download count and average rating alone; user engagement metrics will now be taken into account, with games being rewarded for causing high initial engagement, and more importantly, having users stick around for long periods of time. Google's idea to let developers of paid games and apps initiate their own sales and name their temporary prices for them, meanwhile, saw installation increases of about 3 times over to 20 times over in a limited trial, and generally saw games' popularity spikes even outlasting the sale.
Possibly the biggest change to the current way of things is the addition of editorial pages. Google's curators rarely lay things on the line with users about what games are good and what games aren't, but Google is promising that this will not only be the case more often in the future, but the editorial pages will be featured alongside the app. This means that users who take a look at an app will also see what Google's people think of it, if an editorial page is posted for that app. Google is reportedly targeting what they think of as an "optimal" mobile gaming experience that leverages Android's capabilities to deliver a gaming experience that is engaging, and decidedly mobile-first.