The Top Developers program launched several years ago as a method of drawing attention to devs who put out great apps. We all started seeing the little blue arrow badge next to some of the developers' names, but it got easy to grow accustomed and eventually jaded to it.
The time has come, it seems, to say goodbye to the program. Google has sent out an email to some developers discussing the eclipse of the Top Developers badge and system, but there's also a promise of something new on the horizon. The Play Store's app recognition methodology will soon have more of a focus on individual apps and games that are worth noting, instead of an entire dev account.
Here's the email:
"The Google Play Top Developer program was created to recognize partners who developed top quality Android apps and games
Every day developers like you are hard at work creating apps and games on Android. Whether you’re updating an existing app or building something new, we’ve seen an incredible increase in the level of polish and quality in so many fun, entertaining, and useful apps. We want to make sure more people find the great experiences you are creating.
The Google Play Top Developer program launched many years ago to recognize developers who created high quality Android apps and games. We conducted research, with both developers and consumers, and observed a clear value and preference for the recognition of individual apps and games, instead of entire organizations.
After taking a look at our existing app recognition programs, the Google Play editorial team has decided to focus its efforts on recognizing high quality and innovative apps and games. As a first step, we will be closing the Top Developer program and removing the badging from the Play Store within 30 days. We have exciting plans to recognize more of the great apps and games you create and will be sharing updates soon.
We thank you for your continued commitment to Android and Google Play."
It's hard to say that this is a bad thing. It will be interesting to see what Google has up its sleeve for the future of app recognition in the Play Store.