Facebook and others simplify Android game distribution

by Kristen Nicole

It seems everyone wants to make Android app installs easier than ever, and that especially goes for games. After Amazon revealed their Test Drive feature for trying Android games before you make a purchase, Facebook is offering more details on their plans for making Android game installs as convenient as possible. Already redirecting a user to the Google Play marketplace link when accessing a game through their mobile App Center, Facebook will also add a “Send to Mobile” button on the browser version. This will automatically install the game on your Android device associated with your Facebook account.

Another perk is that the App Center will automatically open the app on your Android device if it’s already been installed. The social network is hoping that the simplicity of the approach will encourage more developers to market through their App Center, competing with similar features added to Google Play early on.

Building bigger platforms

In fact, plenty of new options are emerging for Android game developers. GameFly’s video game rental service is shifting focus to the online sector, starting with a new game development fund for Android and iOS game makers. Specific to Android, an online destination called the Android GameStore will complement GameFly’s existing iOS app which offers daily recommendations for Apple devices. “We plan to be a leading player in mobile games by launching our retail GameStore for Android and helping to fund mobile developers of all sizes to publish, promote and sell their smartphone and tablet games,” says GameFly co-founder Sean Spector.

YoYo Games also added to their game development toolbox with the launch of GameMaker Studio. It’s touted as a more efficient way to create a cross-platform game presence, using a single code base and exporting to Google Play and other markets from there. Centralizing developer and distribution tools into a single service is becoming more common these days, as Appcelerator and Unity3D offer similar capabilities. GameMaker is a popular toolkit for game developers in particular, and YoYo has incorporated a licensing partnership with HandyGames to further appeal to game makers for the launch and promotion of future titles.

Discover more great Android games here