Earlier this month, Cody discovered evidence for a loyalty program in a teardown of the Google Play app, and now we're seeing the first official word about it. The rewards scheme is called Play Points and has gone live in Japan, according to a support page for the app.

Users can join the program by navigating to the 'Play Points' section in the app's hamburger menu. To begin with, one point will be awarded for every ¥100 (about $0.90) spent on apps and games — to be used on IAPs or converted to Google Play credit — but as you progress, higher levels can be achieved with even greater rewards. Check out the different levels below:

  • Bronze level (up to 249 points):
    • 1 point earned for every ¥100 spent
  • Silver level (250–999 points):
    • 1.25 points earned for every ¥100 spent
    • 1 ¥300 credit for in-app items
    • 1 ¥100 movie rental
  • Gold level (1,000–3,999 points):
    • 1.5 points earned for every ¥100 spent
    • +1 ¥300 credit for in-app items
    • 2 ¥500 ebook credits
    • +2 ¥100 movie rentals
  • Platinum level (4,000–14,999 points):
    • 1.75 points earned for every ¥100 spent.
    • +1 ¥300 credit for in-app items
    • +4 ¥500 ebook credits
    • +4 ¥100 movie rentals
  • Diamond level (more than 15,000 points):
    • 2 points earned for every ¥100 spent
    • +2 ¥300 credits for in-app items
    • +6 ¥500 ebook credits
    • +5 ¥100 movie rentals

Even when you spend points, they still count towards your level — it will reset at the end of each calendar year, though. It's unclear if or when this program will be rolled out in other territories, but I'd say it's fairly likely to happen in the not too distant future. Japan may well be the testbed for this new scheme so that Google can iron out any kinks ahead of a wider release — here's hoping, anyway.