​Google Unveils Major Updates to Play Games Player Analytics

Today, Google announced significant additions to its Play Games Player Analytics tool for game developers.

Launched in March, Player Analytics gives game developers access to a number of reports through the Google Play Developer Console. These reports provide insights into how users are playing games and business-related data. Already, Google says that Player Analytics is "becoming an important tool for game developers."

Today's updates include improvements to the Play Games C++/iOS SDK and Unity plugin, as well as two new reports. A Player Time Series Explorer allows developers to see what users do in the first few minutes of gameplay. According to Google's official announcement, this information can help developers identify and address potential sources of churn. "For example, you carefully built out the first set of experiences in your game, but are surprised by how many players never get through even the first set of challenges. With the Player Time Series Explorer, you can now see which challenges are impeding player progress most, and make targeted improvements to decrease the rate of churn."

Google is also adding an Events Viewer to Player Analytics. This allows developers to create custom reports based on the events they have configured. Reports created with Events Viewer can be segmented, giving developers the ability to compare different groups of users and types of events.

Of course, Google understands that access to meaningful analytics is just one piece of the puzzle for game developers. If Player Analytics is to be truly useful, developers need to make insight actionable. With that in mind, Google today also announced a Player Stats API, which enables developers to create tailored experiences for different segments of users based on where they are at in the "player lifecycle." Google provides a number of examples of how this can be used. For example, the Player Stats API can help developers identify players that are "highly engaged [but] just aren't spending" so that they can be encouraged to recruit other players instead. Or the API can be used to identify large spenders so that they can be periodically rewarded for their spending.

Platforms Need Analytics, Associated APIs

Play Games Player Analytics and the new Player Stats API are good examples of how for many, platforms analytics and APIs are critical. The success of Google Play ultimately depends on the success of its developers, and if Google doesn't offer them the tools they need to create great gameplay experiences and maximize the financial performance of their games, Google itself could ultimately suffer.

By connecting the data contained in its analytics reports to APIs, Google is making it easier for developers to improve their games and make them more successful with significantly less effort.

Be sure to read the next Games article: Facebook SDK for Unity Update Means Better Gaming