According to reports by Engadget, Google announced a cross-play feature at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco this week. It would allow for mobile devices of different platforms, iOS and Android, to play games together.
Through a Unity engine plug-in, this addition could be done within the Google Play game services. It’s up to developers to implement it, but it could potentially open up game releases on mobile devices.
Moreover, Google announced that it would allow for “game gifts” to be sent to other players for certain in-game items. What these gifts entail concretely is yet to be seen.
Lastly, the Google play store will receive more game categories to browse through. That should allow its users to sift through the heaps of titles there a little better.
Google Play services will update to version 4.3 to put in these features. It will also facilitate statistics monitoring.
Cross-play on different mobile operating systems isn’t new. Prior to this, multiple games were able to get their multiplayer features through to both Android and iOS or even PC.
Still, with the official support on Google’s end, that will certainly become a lot easier, especially when paired with Unity. As one of the bigger engines and the most facilitating across platforms, it’s bound to create a lot more games to play on either Android or iOS.
Google Play services 4.3 should be rolling out right now.