Let's discuss about Google Play Store


#1

Hello people!
I want to open a discussion here.
Been hearing a lot of dev’s bad experiences with Google Play Store around the world.
Their main complaint is that Google literally wipe out their apps without early warning, and don’t even explains the reasons.
This made me feel ceptical about purchasing the Play Store Dev Account, I fear for the same happening with me.
So, let’s discuss about this!
How was your experience with your app on GPS?
Was it worth it? Does it works fine? Any complaints? If so, do you use alternatives(ITCH.IO, Amazon AS, Apple Store, etc.)? Admob, etc.
Btw, feel free to promote your app here too :slightly_smiling_face:
And
let’s share this discussion with the others too!
Thanks!


#2

Don’t have any experience with google play store, but https://gamejolt.com/ is a great place to host your games. I haven’t posted one for now. But, the community there is really good and small enough that your games will reach everyone. Also you can get revenue from the ads they run too


#3

What really scares me is what happened to the developer of Terraria. I don’t know the specifics but the guy did something that was going against the policies and Google locked him out from all his Google accounts including both business and personal ones and received no explanation from Google for weeks.

Since then I was trying to find out what happened exactly but could not find any info.
The problem with the dev of Terraria has sorted since, but I believe only because the story went viral thanks to the success and popularity of Terraria and the developer announced he is not going to publish Terraria on Stadia. If it happened with an everyday Joe who published some trash on Play Store generate $0 revenue, I can imagine Google may have just ignored it.

I also heard lot of stories it is extremely difficult to find a real person to contact when you have a problem with your Google account. You have to deal with bots and automated systems 99.99% of times.

I did also looked in to what could have happened to make Google apply such harsh measures and lock all your accounts and basically the only thing I’ve found was fraud and illegal activities if you and your Google account may have been involved in some sort of scam, which could also be because someone hacked your Google account and used it for fraud without you knowing.

Just imagine tomorrow morning you can no longer login in to any of your Google accounts associated with your phone number, address, and credit/debit card info including the one may be used for Play Store, Google Drive, PayPal, banking, your web hosting, other businesses and to communicate with people. And you get no explanation from Google but a text box to submit messages to Google for review and automated replies from Google saying it was unsuccessful and they can not lift the lock with no further explanation.

It is made me realise how dangerous it is to use only Google for everything including business, banking and personal staff.


#4

Thanks for the tip!
I’ve already heard of Gamejolt, many say it’s good too.
It is possible to sell games there?
And does they allow Android games on it?


#5

That’s really harsh :slightly_frowning_face:
I’ve heard that Apple does this kind of thing too, but it at least send someone to call you and give a chance to you to prove that you always had good faith, and maybe restore your account and apps.
So, did you ever uploaded an app to Play Store, or uses any other alternative?


#6

Yes, Apple is famous for super customer support and if your account is locked or banned you can actually request a phone call from Apple and a human being going to contact you not some sort of automated FAQ answer machine.

The only time you need to deal with an automated system is in case of generic things, like for example when you submit your app and it is uses an outdated version of a library or SDK then you may get an automated response asking you to upgrade or remove the outdated lib, something like that. No point to talk to a human about generic things like this that easy to spot by a machine and must be fixed. I know some developers get stuck even at this phase when using 3rd party tools and the problem is within the tool and out of their control and they blame Apple for that. Many developer hate this. But in case your app is well built and meet the guidelines of Apple and all requirements, the next phase is a human going to take a look to confirm all good after which if there is any problem, you be in contact with an other human being and you get a chance to provide explanation to Applle, why you did what you did.

No, I don’t target Android and never published anything at Play Store. I did want to publish a game once but then when I’ve seen I can register only 1 Google account as a developer account and they required a Debit card so they can confirm and check if I have any other dev accounts I decided no, it is not that important…
Currently I am using itch.io for everything I want to share (yes you can publish even Android apps but users need to allow unknown sources in settings) and I am getting more motivated to publish in the App Store and target iOS only and just ignore everything else.


#7

Yes, you can sell games too. Paid or free,only if the game is free you will get revenue from the ads (If I remember correctly) and if paid, from the paid amount. I don’t know the gamejolt/developer revenue share, but it is a fine ratio. You can upload android games, but I don’t know how to and what file type. If you need more help, here is a great article about best place to host your game, https://ninichimusic.com/blog/2017/9/1/11-places-to-publish-release-your-indie-game


#8

Ok, since you two mention it.
How about ITCH.IO?
Does it has good support? does it is generates good incomes? and has it a great number of monthly visits?
I’ve been considering ITCH.IO as an alternative to Google in case anything fails.


#9

itch.io got good support, often you get response from the developer of itch.io him self and he is an open-minded person.
The pricing model of itch.io is something nothing can beat it. It is free with limitations and you can decide how much money you pay to itch.io and you can choose 0 which is crazy.
As your content grow you can contact itch.io and ask them to lift the limitations, give you more space and in case you want to share good content they most likely agree to give you what you need. They may ask for a small fee though either pay them or set a price tag on your content and pay revenue share. But honestly if you ever need more than what you get for free, they most likely deserve the money.

Regarding downloads I think it is depends on your content. I got thousands of downloads even though the content I shared was not so good, so I can imagine good quality content get even more downloads. Itch.io is my primary place to buy tools now and even games. I consider it popular enough worth trying.

Regarding revenue, again, it is depends on your content, I can’t really say I made decent revenue but again, I did not shared anything that can be considered good quality content. But since it is free, you got nothing to lose to publish on itch.io even if you choose to publish in Play Store.


#10

Thanks!
But what about the revenue money, why would I share it with ITCH.IO? does it helps me with something?
(not that this really matters, I would be happy to share a little with them for free if they are really good)


#11

itch.io host the the files and process the payments for you, if you choose they even pay taxes and handle refund requests and transaction fraud for you for free, you don’t have to give anything to itch.io, you can choose how much you pay and you can pay 0. But there is a limit how much content you can upload for free, if you hit the limit you need to pay something to itch.io. You also need to pay revenue share on Play Store and everywhere so, it is not something you can avoid really. You got to pay 15-30% revenue share most places including the Play Store.

itch.io cost you nothing to try and then you can decide what you want to do when you start to hit the limits and you can decide how much revenue share you pay to itch.io unlike in the Play Store.


#12

The Research Age, developed by Andrea Guido, is doing pretty well on Google Play Store. It has more than 100 reviews and most of them are positive. Downloads reached more than 1000 as well.


#13

I remember I had downloaded .apk file of the game from GameJolt. So, it means it’s possible to upload the game in .apk extension


#14

For me, the google play store is very easy to publish to, and it’s worth the 25 dollars. I love google play because it’s the main reason my game has a knowledge board on google search.

(https://g.co/kgs/sbxKLx) < this is what a knolage board looks like, unlike normal search results, knowledge boards pop up in the right of your screen and are manually added by google.

If you want a knowledge board the easiest way is to publish to google play. Also google play is the largest android appstore (no duh, android = google) so if your game is a mobile game it is the best place to publish to.

I’ve never had any big problem with google, but one time I tried to release an update to a game but the update had a description change that google play didnt like for some reason, but they didnt lock me out of my account, they instead they delayed the update and emailed me explaining me what happened and then I fixed the description and then the update was posted.


#15

Oh that’s good to hear!
It is the first time I’ve heard that Google explained what did go wrong.
(btw: nice games, especially the Petrifying Pumpkins! :wink:)


#16

Thanks! Google is actually really nice to work with for me at least.


#17

Can you share how much downloads/exposure your games are getting, if you are allowed to disclose it?


#18

so far I have 160 total installs if I add up all my 4 apps’s installs


#19

I have had bad experiences with Google, basically something similar to what you are mentioning.

I publish apps for children. In one of the cartoons someone had a little bit of blood on his clothes. It was just to explain that the character didn’t like seeing blood.

Google immediately removed my app from the play store saying that this was gore and inappropriate for children and DID NOT GIVE ME ANY WAY TO TALK TO THEM. I had to wait for weeks before it was back up, even though I immediately removed the image in question even if I did not agree with their decision.

This for me is completely unacceptable. The only reason why I am still working with them is that we live in a Duopoly. Anyways, Apple is MILES ahead of Google (although the price to be a developer there is much higher too).

I still think that Google should provide a proper communication channel for these situations which are extremely stressful for developers like us. I would be happy to pay more for this peace of mind.


#20

Hello again folks.
So, I’ve maked my mind and I’m about to create my Google Playstore Account on Google Play Console.
When I was about to create it, it says that I must choose one Google account, and that’s where I am most confused.
Should I choose my personal default account(the account that I use as a real person) or the account that I made intended to me as an indie dev?
It sounds like a dumb question, but it says that I may need to show to Google a valid document that proves my identidy, which maybe will not be possible with the dev account, because it has not my picture or real name.
What should I do?