Cross-publishing Google Play Games for PC
Chromebooks are not the only large screen platform where Android games can be played. Google also provides a platform to play your Android games on PC through Google Play Games. The requirements are similar enough that if you optimize your game for Google Play Games, you’ll have done the work of optimizing for ChromeOS.
Optimizing and publishing for Google Play Games
- Build a version of your game that works on large screen devices. The Google Play Games documentation details the approval requirements for Google Play Games as well as how to test on a ChromeOS device.If you had previously optimized your game for Chromebooks, make sure they meet the additional requirements for Google Play Games as well.
- Package your game for Google Play Games, and ensure that you include x86 and x86_64 binaries. Be sure to include these binaries for ChromeOS submissions as well. When possible, you should use the same APKs or App Bundle on PC as you do for mobile builds.
- Publish your game to the “Google Play Games for PC” track within the Play Console.
Publishing a Google Play Games build for Chromebooks
Publishing to the Google Play Games track will not automatically make your game available on Chromebooks. For developers who want their large screen game version to be available on Chromebooks, there are two options: maintain a combined project (recommended) or create separate projects.
We recommend that you maintain a single code base for both your mobile game and large screen platforms like PC and Chromebooks. This will streamline your publishing process and reduce the maintenance overhead of maintaining continuity and parity across screens. With a single codebase, as long as you haven’t restricted Chromebooks from the Production track of the standard release type, ChromeOS devices will get your Google Play Games for PC optimized game whenever you publish an update for this track. If your game isn’t showing up, review publishing for ChromeOS quickstart to help you debug.
If you need to separate your large screen version from your mobile version, there is still a path forward. Using the same build for Google Play Games, create a bundle that targets only Chromebooks and upload it to the same Play Store listing as your mobile version. This will keep your reviews and ratings in one place. There are some considerations that need to be made for this, though:
- Keep the package name the same between builds.
- Increase the version code of the ChromeOS (large screen) build to a number much higher than the current Android (mobile) version.
- Add the following Chrome OS-specific feature to the app manifest in order to restrict your large screen version to only be discoverable on Chromebooks.
- Upload the new build in the Production track for the Standard release type alongside the phone build.