Grow your games business with a player-first approach

As an avid gamer, every year I look forward to spending time with developers at GDC to celebrate together and learn from their successes. We are all disappointed that this year’s conference was postponed, but we applaud the organizers for taking steps to protect our global community. 

Although we won’t be gathering in person this year, the Google team is hosting the Google for Games Developer Summit, a free, digital-only experience where developers can watch the announcements and session content that was planned for GDC. We still wanted to share these updates with you because we think these new products will help developers succeed and are a direct response to feedback from our developer community. 

As we study emerging gaming trends one of the most consistent things we’ve noticed over the years is that those who build a strong games business always put players first. That means deeply understanding players at every stage of their app journey. Today, we’re announcing new solutions that help you launch a game people love, improve it based on player insights, and earn more during the time that someone is engaged with your game. 

Launch a game players love with scaled user testing

Appealing to players at launch is essential to the success of your game. Based on recent Google internal data, more than half of installs come within the first 8 weeks of an app’s release. To make the most of this influx of users, leading developers like Big Fish Games test their apps in beta before releasing them publicly.  That’s why last year we introduced open testing in the Google Play Console to help you get early feedback from real users before your full release. 

To get even more testers into your app, you’ll soon be able to promote Android games with open testing in Google Ads as well. By running open testing ads in App campaigns, you can drive early users to your app to test things like app stability, user retention, monetization, and effectiveness of ad creatives—then use the learning to improve your results when you launch. 

In one example, Chinese developer NetEase used open testing ads to reach more beta users that helped them optimize in-app purchase behavior based on open testing data.  For their new game, Dawn of Isles, Netease was able to double in-app purchases which ultimately led to higher lifetime value (LTV) at launch.

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