Google Play Instant games let you play first, download later

Joanna Estrada
March 19, 2018

TechCrunch reports that evelopers get up to 10MB per instant game, which should be big enough for most mobile games.

Google has started to roll out its visual search tool Google Lens to more mobile devices, expanding from its previous exclusivity to the company's Pixel smartphones, making the feature available to Google Photos users on Android before it arrives on the iOS version of the image management app. They have since expanded instant apps, but this is the first time they are bringing games into the fold. Once you've done that, you launch the game and give it a shot. Some games that now support Play Instant include Clash Royale, Words with Friends 2, Bubble Witch 3 Saga and Panda Pop, as well as a few other titles from Playtika, Jam City, MZ, and Hothead. With Instant Games, when you click over to a game's profile in the Google Play Store, there's a "try now" button that puts you right in the game's full, native experience quickly.

In addition to today's Google Play Instant GDC announcement, Zynga will host an industry panel on building entertainment experiences for emerging mobile platforms on Tuesday, March 20 as part of the GDC Mobile Summit.

Game developers looking to add their games to the Instant Gameplay collection are in for a bit of disappointment: the service is now still in closed beta. Karmel said that Google is already seeing an increase in acquisitions from users who might have given up downloading a game had they not had a chance to play it first. There are only eight partners in the beta right now, though Google plans to allow more and more developers to use the technology over time.

Despite the name, Google hopes Google Play Instant use will spread beyond discovery directly in the app store. Open to all GDC Summit attendees, the panel featuring Leo Olebe, Director Global Games Partnerships, Facebook; Benjamin Frenkel, Android Product Manager, Google; Nicole Opas, Vice President Games, Zynga; and Michael Carter, CEO, Game Closure, will take place in the West Hall (Room 2011) of Moscone from 11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. In some ways, it sounds like what Apple did with its App Store redesign last fall; games got their own dedicated tab with more in-depth content and curated categories to help people sift through the insane number of options out there.

At the conference today, Google announced a new service geared towards Android gamers: Google Play Instant. Thanks to this, you can now see what playing a level or two of Clash Royale, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire or Panda Pop is like without having to go through the usual install procedure.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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