In the last few weeks there has been a flurry of exciting announcements from some of the biggest names in tech. All keen to entice developers, the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are all hoping to bring developers onboard by enabling them to build games quickly and effectively on their platforms. It’s an exciting time to be a games developer with new platforms being launched at a quick pace and with increasing benefits and perks, such as a wider audience reach, monetization options, quick scalability and increased discoverability.
Facebook Instant Games Platform
Facebook were first off the mark making a big announcement with their Instant Games Platform. A HTML5 cross-platform gaming experience which was launched in closed beta in 2016 and has now been opened to all developers. This is an exciting proposition and allows Facebook and Messenger users to discover, share and play games without installing a game app. For game developers this means once they’ve built and launched their app on the platform they can reach more than one billion Facebook users. There’s also a range of benefits for developers including:
- Reduced player friction through instant access
- Increased discoverability with news feed CTAs
- Monetization solutions including Ads API and Monetization Manager
Amazon were next in line to reveal their brand new platform, GameOn. A cross-platform competitive gaming service built on AWS, which allows developers to host in-game competitions, leaderboards and leagues where players can compete against each other and win prizes. The prizes can be in-game or real-world such as an Amazon Echo and of course all fulfilled by Amazon.
GameOn works on any operating system which gives developers a great opportunity and the ability to scale quickly, an initiative which came from Amazon directly asking developers how they could make their games more engaging. The GameOn APIs will be free until May 1, 2018 and after this developers will pay a $0.003 fee for each play. Some of the benefits to developers include:
- Quick scalability with AWS
- Easy implementation of competition elements through the GameOn APIs
- Increased engagement, monetization and retention
- Community growth by allowing players to create their own competitions
Google Play Instant
Google then announced the launch of Google Play Instant. A similar idea to Facebook’s Instant Games, players can access instant games through Instant Gameplay collection in the Google Play Store or by visiting Arcade in the Google Play Games App. Google Play Instant is a step behind Facebook as its still in closed beta, with plans to open up access later in 2018 but nevertheless an exciting opportunity for Android developers.
Then onto something a little different… after a few teaser trailers Microsoft released the full series of DevQuest on YouTube. The four part series takes Adriaan de Jongh, the developer of Hidden Folks, across the globe to meet developers from Amsterdam, Prague, Montreal, Los Angeles and Melbourne to hear their success stories, challenges and creative inspirations.
In the Catchy office we all really enjoyed watching the series with its retro artsy feel and we also think it’s pretty awesome that Microsoft have immortalised Adriaan as a superhero. We thought it was really interesting there was no product placement in the video and no mention of Microsoft. In the first edition, Adriaan meets Amanita Design, the world renowned developers of the beautiful Machinarium and Samarost, who we were fortunate to meet at the Google Play Indie Games Contest final last year. It’s definitely worth a watch.