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Google unveils playable ads for Android game developers and other tools

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The Game Developers will now be able to run price promotions using the Google Play Console when Google launches it on Monday.

Google said Monday at the annual Game Developer Conference in San Francisco that it's debuting several features meant to better promote higher-quality games and distinguish them from the duds. In the strikethrough pricing pilot phase, Google said developers saw increases from between 3x and 20x in installs. Until now, the only thing taken into consideration when judging how popular a game is, was how many installs it got.

Bankhead said Google is also creating gameplay videos, which users will be able to see next to the apps on the Google Play store.

Google will look at a game's "stickiness" - its retention and engagement levels - as a way to reward quality with better promotion on the store. Google already offers advertisers multiple ways to push ads across platforms like Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, AdMob and the Display Network. Nevertheless, at least we now can enjoy proper discounts on apps that some may be hesitant to buy at full price (I'm looking at you, Leo's Fortune). Google's human editors will select games to highlight here, providing greater exposure to games they deem innovative and best show off what gaming on Android is all about.

Along with the new tools, Google isn't coming to GDC empty handed on the game front. While developers have been allowed to drop their prices to free on Apple's iOS platform nearly since the inception of the App Store, Google has not allowed games to drop to the free price point and then return to a paid price point on the Play Store. This dynamic duo adds to Google and others' efforts to bring more content to the still-nascent virtual reality content space.

"Playables" refers to a new ad format that will allow users to play a succinct version of a game as part of an interactive ad. Playables offer users the same experience that the real game offers, just for a shorter time period since it's only a preview.

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