At first, we thought this news meant much less because Google Play Games is actually several things. At its simplest, Google Play Games is an SDK for developers paired with an app for customers. The SDK allows things like could saves, profiles, achievements, and social aspects like leaderboards. The corresponding Google Play Games app is a consumer’s window into some of those details, with some extra tools including its own built-in minigames, a recording tool, a list of all your Google Play Games-compatible titles for easy installation, and even a catalog of compatible Android titles you can conveniently install right from the app.
Google made a big announcement today at the Game Awards. We’re still figuring out the full implications of this, but Google says it’ll bring Google Play Games to Windows in 2022, and it’s verified to Android Police that this will include game distribution. In a nutshell, Google will offer a game app market for Windows next year.
In a sense, that game catalog, paired with its Play Store integration, kind of makes Google Play Games an app store of its own within the larger Play ecosystem. But technically speaking, it’s just a front-end for the Google Play Store itself, simply taking advantage of deep integrations into it. Initial announcement details for today’s news also just highlighted the developer impact and letting players “pick up right where they left off from their pocket, to their tablet, Chromebook and on desktop.” All that sounds like it’s just the SDK, right? Wrong. Those features will probably still be included, but there’s more to it.
More info is coming soon, but 2022 just got a whole lot more exciting. It might just be for games for now, but Google’s launching an app store for Windows. As a potential stepping stone, this is huge. Asus Chromebook CX9 Review: Too much of a good thing.
The company provided Android Police with a statement that confirms game distribution is part of these plans. When asked further, Google explicitly told us that an app store comparison for its plans is valid, though it will just be for games. We’ll have more to share on the service and product next year. But what I can say is this is a new experience that will enable players to download and play their favorite Google Play Games on their desktop. Google will distribute the application and games themselves. We’re excited to help everyone who uses Google Play to continue their gameplay across Android enabled phones, tablets, Chromebooks and Windows.