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Google Play

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Google Play
Googleplaylogo.png
Playstorelayout.png
The flaming dumpster of the mobile gaming industry.
Developer(s): Google
Initial Release: October 22, 2008
Platform(s): Android
Android TV
Chrome OS
Wear OS
Web Browser
Languages: Multilanguage
Website: https://play.google.com/store


Google Play (formerly Android Market before Android 2.3 Gingerbread) is a digital distribution service operated and developed by Google. It serves as the official app store for the Android operating system, allowing users to browse and download applications developed with the Android software development kit (SDK) and published through Google. Google Play also serves as a digital media store, offering music, magazines, books, movies, and television programs. It previously offered Google hardware devices for purchase until the introduction of a separate online hardware retailer, Google Store, on March 11, 2015.

How It Works

Applications are available through Google Play either free of charge or at a cost. They can be downloaded directly on an Android device through the Play Store mobile app or by deploying the application to a device from the Google Play website. Applications exploiting hardware capabilities of a device can be targeted to users of devices with specific hardware components, such as a motion sensor (for motion-dependent games) or a front-facing camera (for online video calling). The Google Play store had over 82 billion app downloads in 2016 and has reached over 2.7 million apps published in 2017.

Bad Qualities

This will mainly focus on the post-Android Market era.

  1. Just like Steam, but probably even worse (see pointer 3), the Play Store has no quality control whatsoever. Literally anything that doesn't have pornographic or Nazi-related content can be published on here.
    • However, some games like Postal were rejected due to "gratuitous violence", despite games like Carmageddon, several Grand Theft Auto games/clones, and various zombie games like Dead Trigger being allowed on the store with similarly violent content. As a result, the only way to legitimately obtain the Android port of Postal is through Amazon's app store.
  2. Since quality control doesn't exist, there's more than 1,000,000+ shovelware games, poor rip-offs of other games, useless and heavily monetized "game instruction" apps, free money scam apps, and even viruses disguised as games/apps on the Google Play Store.
    • Even recent research proves that the most malware and unwanted apps comes from Google Play![1]
    • And Google does absolutely nothing to combat that at all.
  3. To add more fuel into the dumpster fire, the only real "restriction" against shovelware developers is the Play Console, a measly one-time $25 fee. For comparison, the Steam Direct, and its discontinued predecessor Steam Greenlight, a "quality control" system that resulted into wave of shovelwares being flooded on Steam, requires $100 per game. This low entry bar has resulted into the sheer numbers of shovelware games on the store, as the "developers" can easily recoup the costs by collecting the ad revenue.
  4. There are some apps that can break your phone even if your device isn't rooted, due to the lack of quality control.
  5. The ratings system is very easy to exploit. Many developers used bots to write positive reviews about the game without any negative repercussions whatsoever. Usually you can notice this if there's a huge discretion in the ratings system (the highest being 5* and the second highest being 1*). Sometimes, the 5* reviews are simply copypastas with very poor grammar, and the reviewer's name is just "a Google user". This is why EA's Dungeon Keeper, a "free" game that forces you to pay to progress has a consistent 4 star rating.
  6. Horrible customer service, most developers only have a bot which gives you the support e-mail address when you're having a complaint which isn't about how it works (say, too much ads).
  7. Gratuitously demanding download space requirement: Nowadays, Google Play will refuse to download certain apps unless you clear over 500MB of storage space, in spite of said apps' download bytes being lower than 10MB. This forces users to delete certain (could be important) files or apps just to download another one. Not even putting said apps in the MicroSD card helps as remaining data stays on the internal storage.
    • The same principle applies to updating apps.
    • If you're using an old Android device, you will be forced to update the Play Store to the latest version.
  8. Tons of games (especially Japanese games like Granblue Fantasy and SINoALICE) are region locked and are only accessible out-of-region through external services like Qooapp. You can switch regions, but you can only do this once a year and any Play money you have won't be currency converted and it'll be lost forever.
  9. It also came with Google Play Games, a service that had features to share your achievements and your game stats with others. However, instead of sharing your in-game stats with the rest of the world, it only shared for your friends in Google+ (which has since shut down for non G Suite accounts as of April 2019), making it pretty much pointless since nobody used that. The level system also doesn't give you any rewards, unlike Microsoft's Xbox, making it as pointless as the share function.
  10. Also, Google Play Games is required to be installed in order to play certain games, even if you're playing offline games. It also takes 100MB+ of your phone space, even though it barely does anything. Thankfully, this is only the case with mid-2010 games.
    • At least you can interact with Google Play Games in some way (more on GQ #4), while Google Services (formerly Google Play Services) is another app required to even use Play Store along with other Google apps like YouTube and taking up as much as Google Play Games, yet you can't even interact with it. To make matters worse, you can't even delete it.
  11. A controversy started in the wake of Fortnite's Android release where people made fake versions of the app that don't do anything at best or potentially damage your device at worst. Those events stopped when the Fortnite Beta for Android went live, but a new scam started in the wake of the Legendary Galaxy skin that is only obtainable for users of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. This shows that Android devices are more vulnerable than iOS devices (mainly due to the fact that iOS devices are less popular, more expensive, and less-prone to malware because of general interest, and the restrictions such as DRM and sideloading apps disabled for security reasons).
  12. The refund service is very horrible, because of that the refunds you send don't work, even worse, trying to reason your refund still doesn't work and it says "Hi, we received your refund request of {spent money} for {in-game resources}, {transaction ID}, but we can't provide a refund for this purchase because it doesn't meet with our policy" as an excuse of trying to refund.
  13. Newer Android versions (usually Versions 8-11) may auto install some games you probably didn't want to install. It is installed, even if the phone was turned off or not in your history.
  14. There were Instant Games through Google Play Games that if you would have played, they would took all of the data from the game and downloaded it in the background. That could have clogged up your storage without you knowing it, and it was confusing trying to delete all of the data. However, as of 2021, the Instant Games were removed.
  15. Sometimes when installing an app, it might get stuck on pending.
  16. Regardless of your app or game interest on the store, it will still recommend you social media apps and casual games based on what people download in your region.

Good Qualities

  1. Despite the lack of quality control, it still has some good games and apps if you look hard enough through all the garbage. It even has ports of some flash games.
  2. Unlike Apple, Google has allowed emulators to thrive on the Google Play Store, which when combined with third-party controllers makes it worthwhile.
  3. Some games and apps are cheaper than their Apple App Store versions (sometimes even free).
  4. It will be much easier to find legitimate games on the charts page or the Editor's Choice page.
  5. The only good feature that Google Play Games offered was cloud saves, allowing players to transfer their progress to other devices.
  6. It allows devs to put their games on sale, so if you find a game that is free for a limited time, it can be the best time to download it.
  7. While the one-time $25 publishing fee has resulted into the sheer numbers of shovelware games on the store, it also help a legitimate indie developers to easily publish their games on the store.
  8. It has a Play Points feature, where you can get points through purchases to get free things in certain games.
  9. Also unlike Apple App Store, Google does not add DRM into developer's app against their will.
  10. Google Play Pass is a good deal, with quality Android games available for a monthly fee that's cheaper than buying the apps outright.

References

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