Why the Google Play Store nightmare might be a good thing

 

I’ll admit, when it first happened, I was shocked and worried like everyone else. I was on Reddit constantly looking for updates, I found the Unity thread on it, joined the Discord channel to discuss it and even the Whatsapp group.

The great Google Play Store indie games disaster of June 20th 2018 had me worried. MY download crashed anywhere between 50% to 80% on my top three games. As a result, my revenue has crashed as well.

 

But….

Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing…..

Hear me out here before you leave in disgust.

After lots of discussion online with other developers. And no official explanation from Google, other than template style support replies, talking about normal fluctuations in download numbers and Googles never ending attempts to improve the user experience. The collective consciousness is starting to think that maybe the quality of your apps may be your saving grace in this disaster, that apps with higher rating, and apps that make good use of Google services, like Leaderboards, IAPs and achievements maybe the favoured one’s in the mind of the new Google AI mastermind controlling the recommendations given and the similar apps section on the store.

So, just maybe, this is really a call to action to use indie devs to sharpen up our games, improve the look and feel, kill any lingering bugs, put in extra social features and generally improve the quality of what we produce. Most of the time it’s not lack of skill, it’s just laziness and feeling rushed to get something out.

There’s a tonne of things I want to do with my games, but I’m always so much more interested in working on something new, I never get round to ironing out those last bugs that keep my crash reports above 1%, or just make the game look a little less amateur.

So this could be a good thing for me. Incidentally, my game “Invaders” got hit the least with “invaders Mars Defender” getting hit the hardest in this change on the store.

It’s also made me think of publishing to iOS as well, but I’d need to buy a Mac first.

For more details on what happened, see these links:

 

https://forum.unity.com/threads/sudden-drop-in-number-of-daily-installs-on-google-play-store.537467/

 

 

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