According to metrics released from iTunes in 2012, games account for 70% of the highest grossing iPhone apps and 55% of the top 200 paid iPhone apps. With its relatively new Google Play Game Services, Google hopes to entice Android and iPhone developers to build their next game around this platform agnostic software as a service (SaaS) offering.
Here is an overview of what you need to know about Google Play Game Services. The API is still getting its feet under it, so check back periodically because we will update this fact sheet with additional features and APIs that are sure to come.
- A REST-based API with already baked Android and iOS libraries
- Support for cross-platform leaderboards and achievements
- Cross-platform cloud storage
- Integration with Google Plus sign in and social features
- Anti-piracy (Android only)
- Real-time multiplayer game state management (Android only)
At the time of this writing, the real benefit of Google Play Game Services to developers lay in the leaderboard, achievements, and cloud storage APIs. Besides being fully platform independent, these services drive user engagement and promote "stickiness." These are some of the high-level functions supported by the APIs.
- Leaderboard API: public and social (friends) scoreboards
- Achievements API: hidden, revealed, locked, and unlocked achievements
- Cloud Storage API: up to 512K with no impact on user, or any size on the user's personal Google drive
William J Francis began programming computers at age eleven. Specializing in embedded and mobile platforms, he has more than 20 years of professional software engineering under his belt, including a four year stint in the US Army's Military Intelligence Corps. Throughout his career William has published numerous technical articles, as well as the occasional short story.