As part of its announcements for the Game Developers Conference this week, Google announced today on its Android Developers Blog that its making some big improvements for game developers in the near future. 

First up, Google is introducing a new “Game Gifts” feature that gives devs the ability to allow users to send “virtual in-game objects to anyone in their circles or through player search. Google is also finished rolling out the new multiplayer invites feature directly in the Play Games app and will be introducing 18 new game categories on Google Play. A full list of the expanded Games categories and info on updating your app can be found here (Google will automatically change categories for those that aren’t updated in time).

That’s not all Google is announcing, however, it’s also bringing multiplayer support to iOS through Google Play Game services and introducing some other big improvements for developers:

To further help with cross platform game development, we’re updating our Play Games Unity Plug-in to support cross-platform multiplayer services, and introducing an early Play Games C++ SDK to support achievements and leaderboards… In addition, we’re launching enhanced Play Games statistics on the Google Play Developer Console, providing easy game analytics for Play Games adopters. Developers will gain a daily dashboard that visualizes player and engagement statistics for signed in users, including daily active users, retention analysis and achievement, and leaderboard performance.

You can check out of all Google’s GDC announcements on its blog here.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.