Google brings gameplay recording to Android with update to the Play Games app

Recording a game with Google Play Games app.<img src=”″ class=”attachment-single-masthead wp-post-image” alt=”Recording a game with Google Play Games app.” />


Everyone on Android is about to turn into a YouTube personality.

Google is launching a new version of its Google Play Games app today that will introduce the capability to record and upload gameplay footage. This is something that Google previously added into the YouTube Gaming app, which also has livestreaming, but Play Games is far more ubiquitous. This lowers the barrier-of-entry to making gaming videos even further, and it ensures that YouTube will have even more content.

The final result will look a lot like this (although I shot the following using the YouTube Gaming app):

This update will introduce a whole new audience to the idea of making videos, since this makes the tools more readily available and easier to use than ever. And while Google sees a lot of potential to grow this with new features in the future, right now, it just wants to get people used to making videos.

“Google Play reaches more than a billion 30-day active users,” Google Play Games product manager Duncan Curtis told GamesBeat. “But that’s not just some number — it’s also an unprecedented amount of players.”

Curtis notes that three in every four Android user plays games. That’s a enormous audience that could make the transition to content creator.

To help facilitate that, the Google Play Games team designed a tutorial to guide first timers through the process. This is another way that Google Play Games and YouTube Gaming are a bit different. Where most people with an Android phone automatically have Google Play Games installed on their device, YouTube Gaming requires people to actively seek it out. And the kinds of people downloading that kind of app might not need a tutorial.

The Play Games take on recording is also geared toward emerging markets. That means, for now, no livestreaming, and it also means surfacing important information.

“We tell the user how much storage they have left,” said Curtis. “For a lot of users, that’s a big issue, so we want to be upfront with them.”

Also in the spirit of giving gamers control, Play Games doesn’t lockdown recordings to YouTube. Gamers can do whatever they want with the raw footage, which means they can even upload it to a competitors service.

Curtis went on to confirm that this recording feature works with any game on Android. Developers don’t need to install anything — although, if they choose to, studios can add the capability for players to start a recording from within the game instead of having to tap over to Play Games.

Of course, developers may want to implement this new tech on the other side. That means taking player-created videos and using it to promote their games. I asked Google if it plans to enable developers to quickly plug these clips into a Play Store page, and Curtis said that is something his team is considering.

“We haven’t got anything like that for launch, but we have thought about ways of surfacing that content in all of the relevant places,” he said.

But that’s just not what Google is worried about right now. In the immediate term, it wants the players to have something awesome to use.

“The most important thing to us is a great consumer experience,” said Curtis. “We care about our players.”


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