Soon the google play store is going to be adding a try now button. This button will allow the player to test out a portion of the game without a download. This is a huge step in preventing players from dealing with the shovelware, but it is a band-aid over a huge cut. Google Play needs to devote a lot of time to getting rid of worthless and unsavory content if it is serious at giving players a user-positive experience.
The play store for a long time has been something of an unwieldy beast within the mobile market. Apple has some extremely disciplined quality control on its market in the sense of keeping complete shovelware off of the market. Android is a much more open and free market, but that comes with some substantial caveats. The store is full of hacks, cheats, ripoffs, and generally terrible games. It is something like current steam in its difficulty to navigate and find quality products through the store. With all of this in mind, it is very easy to see why Google would start to include something to help users navigate the jungle that is the play store.
The most interesting aspect of this story has been the fact that it does not require a download. I am curious to see how this works out. My thought would be games start including this in their game, and it would be a pre-planned segment of the game, rather than just the first 30 seconds. This could be concerning, and there will need to be some quality control on this end of the spectrum to prevent false advertising. Browsing twitter I can always see the terrible clash of clans remakes that blatantly use footage from other games and now I am worried that will carry over to the try now option. It will be more difficult to use physical code and gameplay from another game, but I wouldn’t put it past them to try.
Google has made it clear that Devs can choose to implement this for their game, but I would go so far as to say it should be required. It isn’t a lot to implement it, and it goes a long way to helping players know if a game is worth their time. If I were a true extremist, I would even say delete games that don’t make this change, but I feel there are multiple reasons why that wouldn’t work. It is clear that Google is making a big push to help make their storefront easier to navigate, and that is awesome. However, that is one staw taken off the back of a camel that is crushed, and they need to help quell the shovelware. I would recommend making the try now button required for new games and make games that don’t have it appear in a category that makes them less searchable. If the play store wants to become better and giving games to players, they have a long road ahead and should bring a big shovel.