Since Chromebooks picked up Android app support, Google's been trying to pressure developers to target it as a platform with things like specific talks at past I/O events, and "easier" sideloading of apps for developer testing. And a recently spotted change in the Play Store for Chromebooks might help convince game developers the platform is worth specifically targeting. Over the weekend, a whole new section for "premium" Chromebook games was spotted in testing.
There's a whole (slightly stuttery) video showing off the new section in the Play Store on Chromebooks just below:
It's pretty straightforward, like other categories on the Play Store. This new one appears in the Games section under a "Premium" sub-section tab, near the top, listing just a handful of games. It claims to offer hand-curated "premium" games that play well on Chromebooks — or, at least, well enough for Google to recommend.
The new section, first spotted by the folks at Chrome Unboxed, appears to be in limited testing and isn't live for everyone. (We don't have it yet, either.) The full list of new games is just below:
Many of the titles are free with Play Pass (like Game Dev Tycoon and Bridge Constructor Portal), but not all of them are. Of course, we have a longer list of our own Chromebook game recommendations, and there isn't much overlap with Google's.
For now, Google seems to be focusing on games that play best on Chromebooks, and that's something we know the company has been interested in since it revealed it was trying to bring Steam to the platform at the beginning of the year. While even this relatively minor change hasn't rolled out to everyone yet, I hope it's just the start when it comes to Google highlighting apps that work well on Chromebooks. Through recommendation and omission, it might light a fire under developers to take the Android-on-Chromebooks platform a little more seriously and explicitly target it.
- Chrome Unboxed