Today, Google Play listings for games started to show Youtube content in a section simply titled ‘Watch Others Play’. This feature doesn’t yet show on any of our devices and seems to be some sort of A/B testing for now. Here’s why this is a big deal for mobile gamers!
The team over at Android Police first dropped the news on this update. This feature has been present in the Play Games app for a long time now, but we think that if it remains inside of Play Store listings it could increase downloads and play time for mobile games. Think about it – Let’s Plays have become one of the largest driving force for a game’s chances of succeeding in the modern marketplace. Seeing another gamer play and recommend something can go a lot further than a doctored ad or cinematic that was created by the developer.
Let’s Play content is usually a mix of paid gameplay and Youtubers who are just inviting their audience to watch them play what they’re truly excited about, but it’s still a lot more effective. Knowing that another human is interested in evangelizing something that’s actually fun for them is a stronger guarantee that you’ll enjoy it too. You get to see the aspects of gameplay that the ads and trailers simply won’t show. It sure beats the early days of gaming when this type of recommendation didn’t exist at all and we had to hope companies would include a demo on the disc.
Google Play Store apps received an estimated 250 million downloads per day over the last two years and I can imagine that a large chunk of that has been games. Mobile gaming is definitely blowing up and the numbers prove it. These Let’s Play videos have existed strictly in the Play Games app until now and I think they’ve run the risk of receiving less interaction. I, myself, hardly noticed they were there and really didn’t find much need to watch them either. While these videos are curated based on the games one already has installed, it could be more effective to show videos to those who are in the consideration stage and have yet to download them. Otherwise, the likelihood of them watching gameplay of something they’ve already downloaded is much lower.
As I become more open-minded to the idea of watching people play mobile games on Youtube, I see that they’re as excited as the people who play AAA titles. They explore the nuances of mechanics and try to unlock everything they can while sharing that experience with their audience. I hope this newest feature sticks around and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Google in regards to gaming outside of Stadia.