In January 2022, Google released a beta version of Google Play Games – a project to bring mobile games to PCs.
Initially, the beta was limited to select Asian markets, but it’s now available across 120 regions.
On top of the global expansion, the platform is also expanding its offerings. The latest newcomer to Google Play Games is Supercell with its megahits Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, and the players seem to be very excited.
How does this platform work? What does this mean for the gaming industry?
Here’s everything you need to know.
How Does Google Play Games for PC Work?
Google Play Games for PC is an app that allows people to play Google Play games on Windows computers. This is a valuable addition to previously supported mobile, tablet, and ChromeOS platforms.
What does this mean for players?
At any given moment, players can switch from one device to another. The platform syncs player progress, allowing them to pick up from where they left off.
Moreover, Google Play Games for PC supports mouse control and keyboard input. Plus, the games come with optimized graphics and advanced performance capabilities.
To launch the Google Play Games for PC, users need to fill out a couple of requirements.
They need to be located in one of the supported countries, use Windows 10 or a newer version, and use a personal Google account to log in.
When the Google Play Games for PC platform was initially launched, it mainly featured famous mid-core games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Summoners War, State of Survival: Zombie War, etc.
Over time, the game library grew and expanded.
It is now home to many popular titles from different game genres. This includes Homescapes, Dice Dreams, AFK Arena, Helix Jump, Township, and many more.
Google Play Games for PC: A Test Drive
As we fit all the requirements to try out Google Play Games for PC, we were excited to give it a try.
The app itself delivers a familiar and intuitive Google Play experience. On the homepage, players can find games that match their interests, as well as featured games and new arrivals. In the library section, they can access games they previously played on their phones now available on PC.
In the platform’s All Games section, players can browse available games and game categories. For optimal experience, there is even a filter to “only show games that run well on this PC”.
Finally, players can also access their profiles where they can check out the level of their gaming account and achievements.
To see how popular mobile games run on PC, we tried playing three completely different games – Lords Mobile (strategy) Homescapes (puzzle), and Helix Jump (hyper-casual).
Out of these three games, the strategy game Lords Mobile felt like the best fit for mobile. If we didn’t know this is a mobile title, it could easily pass as a PC-first game.
Homescapes also works well and runs smoothly on mobile, especially in the narrative and decoration meta layer. However, we’re not fans of how match-3 mechanics work on desktop, as it’s much easier to move tiles using fingertips rather than a mouse controller.
While the first two games are horizontal, Helix Jump comes in a vertical orientation, covering only a small part of the screen. The game doesn’t run as smoothly as on mobile, but the gameplay mechanics are a good fit with a mouse controller.
Moreover, just like its mobile version, the game is filled with interstitial ads. But unlike on mobile, the ads don’t take up the entire screen. Therefore, players can simply move it to the side and do something else until the ad finishes.
Potential Benefits for Developers
Why are so many studios joining Google Play Games for PC?
What are the potential benefits?
While it’s unclear whether this project will succeed, there are many potential benefits developers might gain by signing up to the platform. Here are just some of them:
- Higher user engagement. PC gamers are known for their extended gaming sessions, investing a significant amount of time in the games they play.
- Monetization potential. Computer gamers are also more receptive to in-game spending, boosting the revenue potential for PC-based titles.
- Attracting players who don’t play mobile games. The PC platform extends the reach of mobile games to a new audience that may not typically engage with mobile gaming.
- Competitive edge. Being among the early adopters of a new gaming platform can give developers a competitive advantage to establish presence and brand recognition in the PC gaming space.
- Simpler streaming. The PC platform may offer simplified streaming and broadcasting capabilities, making it easier for players to share in-game content on platforms like Twitch or YouTube.
How Can You Add Your Titles to Google Play Games for PC?
If you want to be among the developers who added their games to the PC edition of Google Play, you need to follow a couple of steps:
- Review the requirements for submission
- Check if your game fits the requirements like PC compatibility, playability, graphics configuration, device input, and cross-device play
- Test your game on PC and make necessary updates
- Submit the game to the production track
Google Play Games for PC: Industry Impact
Google Play Games’ move to the PC platform represents a significant shift in the gaming industry, blurring the lines between mobile and PC gaming.
With a seamless cross-platform experience, improved controls, and an expanding library of games, this transition benefits both players and developers. It’s an exciting move that could lead to further innovation and integration of PC and mobile gaming.
Not only that, but this could significantly affect user acquisition, increasing the importance of reaching both mobile and desktop users.
Given all this, we will certainly keep an eye on this platform and keep you informed about any developments. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned!