You don't have to spend much time on the Play Store to see that games are a big part of the service and the platform. Google has already done a lot to highlight gaming with Play Store categories and landing page promotions, but starting in February, developers and end users will have roughly three times as many categories to browse through. The new game categories are as follows:

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Arcade
  • Music
  • Role Playing
  • Simulation
  • Strategy
  • Puzzle
  • Card
  • Casino
  • Casual
  • Board
  • Family
  • Trivia
  • Word
  • Racing
  • Sports

That's seventeen categories, up from the previous six (Arcade & Action, Brain & Puzzle, Cards & Casino, Casual, Racing, and Sports Games). Developers who have current games on the market will need to specify their new categories in the Play Store listing, or they will simply default to the broader categories which are being retained. Developers will also need to adjust their Game Services configuration, but no changes to the actual APK files are necessary.

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Yesterday Google+ user Andrew Jones-McGuire shared the Android Development video below with us - we're fairly certain that the new game categories are what Mr. Pham is hinting at.

The change is probably more for end users than anything else. The current categories are way too broad for effective genre browsing without resorting to a standard keyword search. Google has been making a lot of user-facing changes to the Play Store, including a much-needed in-app purchase indicator. (Not that this is in any way altruistic - games are big money, and Google takes its cut of every paid game and IAP.) Combine these latest moves with the Google Play Games services announced earlier this year, and it's easy to see that Google has gaming on the brain.

Source: Android Developer Help via Droid-Life

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Ivan Martinez

    Good step in the right direction. Hopefully they add categories for Leaderboard, Multiplayer, Achievements, and Cloud Saves for those of us interested in games in those particular categories (for me it'd be Cloud Save & Achievement)

    • didibus

      And Controller Support as well as Local Multiplayer

  • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php rarely online

    At least it'll be more organised now but freemium and IAP makes me not bother with mobile gaming anymore.

    • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

      Well, if you're not supporting purchasable games, then you're not helping prevent the slide to everything going Freemium.

      • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php rarely online

        Why should I support purchasable games when they will have IAP on top of their initial price.

        • perfectlyreasonabletoo

          At least you'll be able to see indicators of that now.

        • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

          You shouldn't. But if you don't buy games, meaning Devs can't make money in the traditional "buy it all" model, then they'll be forced to either use ads of IAPs to recoup their costs.

          You've got to support the products you want. You can't just boycott android gaming as a whole and expect that to improve things.

  • http://danielbrierton.ie Daniel Brierton

    They should just put games at the top level alongside apps, books, music, etc. I rarely want to browse and search both apps and games at the same time, it'd be nice to be able to search just apps without games showing up, and vice versa.

    Edit: Just to clarify: Although there is two buttons at the top, "Apps" shows all games under it, and hitting search under "Games" still searches apps, unlike with books, music, etc.

    • didibus

      This a million times. I understand both are functionally an apk that executes on your phone, but conceptually, when I'm looking for top paid apps, I don't want to see games and vice versa.

    • Fetch

      If you're looking to search for *just* games or *just* apps, you might give Fetch - Apps You'll Love a try.

  • Fresh2infinity

    is it me or are there no good multiplayer games to play on android(besides riptide GP)..I was really exited when they announced the play games apk and was under the assumption that this would catapult multiplayer gaming on our beloved OS...I'm a big COD guy and I buy the game exclusively for the mutliplayer (although I would not expect that level of performance on a mobile device) I figured at least the most basic functions of finding users to play with, maybe even skill set matching would be implemented with play games release. I don't know if it's a performance thing as to why devs haven't grown to implement this feature but there are just no worthwhile multiplayer games worth playing.

  • The_Chlero

    Now only we need to developers to ACTUALLY support these Play Games features, because only minor, obscure games are supporting this. Big names like Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Temple Run, Where's my..xx, Cut the Rope, etc, ARE NOT SUPPORTING IT AT ALL.

    I mean, Google just needs to make this MANDATORY and not optional up to developers.

    • Jens Knutson

      Not mandatory -- besides being unnecessary and dickish, that might even earn them legal trouble -- but they should try to offer greater incentives to use it (or greater disincentives to _not_ use it).

      • The_Chlero

        Of course its necessary. Just like iOS and in major extent, videogame consoles, all those features are an integral part of videogames right now. Achievements, leaderboards and even cloud saves could be a game changer in the gaming industry if Google man up and force developers into support this forcibly.

        Legal trouble? How is that? Can you elaborate?

        • Jens Knutson

          I still don't think it's *necessary*, just highly desirable. I think the difference is important.

          As for legal trouble, I take that back. Potential legal trouble would be if they required using their solution *and* disallowed any third party solutions for achievements, et al -Google

  • Ryu Kent

    About time there was a strategy section!

  • NoBullet

    All I need is a category that filters out in-app purchasable games.

  • Deeco

    Separate Games and Apps ffs!

  • Myrddin Emrys

    About time. So frustrating looking for a good RPG and having to search.... Casual? Really?

  • Kaero

    It's about damn time. Took em long enough.

  • AbbyZFresh

    It would be nice if android actually had great exclusive games.

    • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

      Start developing!

  • Epicsand

    Casual is not a sub-category. There are casual action games, casual puzzle games, casual racing games, and etc, and the games should be separate from apps.

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    They forgot one BIG category:
    Kid games (aka, toddler games. this crap litters my phone)

  • Fetch

    Definitely about time, and a welcome improvement. With Fetch, however, you can already search for RPGs, Casual Sims, Shooters, and modify your search with hundreds of traits (2D, 3D, Multiplayer, On-Screen Game Controller, etc.) The Play Store has a bit of catching up to do!

  • TheOldSwamper

    This will only be good if I can disable the Game Search. Don't need games. Don't want games.

  • Michael Brown

    Too bad it never happened, March 4 and still no new categories. May have to move to Samsung app site. They give 90% and independent developers can apparently get seen.