Google is announcing fresh tweaks to the way gamers sign up on Play Games, making it easier for them to do the same. Google says, that it is making sign ups less troublesome on Play Games by altering the model for games applications programming interfaces.

Wolff Dobson, a Developer Advocate with Google, said in an Android Developer’s blog Post,

We’re taking steps to reduce sign-in friction and unnecessary permission requests for players by moving the Games APIs to a new model.

The biggest and perhaps the most sought after change which Google is introducing, is by making it just one sign-up per account, rather than one sign up per game, thus also helping in-app purchases less of a hassle. This means, that from now on, you can simply sign in to Play Games once for all, thus not requiring you to sign up again and again, every time you log into a game.

This however, could be termed as ‘taking a leaf out of Apple’s books’, considering that iOS owners just need to sign up to their iTunes account once, which in turn stores all their credit details onto the account. This saves them from the hassles of logging in again and again to make in-app purchases.

Another big change, which comes with this update is the non-requirement of an upgraded Google+ account to access Google Play Services. This, while obviously being a sign of relief for Android gamers, is yet another sign of how Google is slowly parting itself from Google+ —  the second social networking attempt by the search giant, which simply failed to catch up.

Also, with this new update, once signed up to Play Games, users will no longer need to sign in to any future games, they will be automatically signed in. There is no consent screen required for signing in on any particular game. Sign-in will be automatic to each new game.

Most games should see no interruption or change in service with this update. There are a handful of cases, however, where some change is required. Dobson has highlighted the same, along with possible solutions :

  1. Asking for the Google+ scope unnecessarily
    • Issue: Your users will get unnecessary, potentially disturbing pop-up consent windows
    • Solution: Don’t request any additional scopes unless you absolutely need them
  2. Using the Play Games player ID for other Google APIs that are not games
    • Issue: You will not get valid data back from these other endpoints.
    • Solution: Don’t use player ID for other Google APIs.
  3. Using mobile/client access tokens on the server
    • Issue: Your access token may not contain the information you’re looking for
      • …and this is not recommended in the first place.
    • Solution: Use the new GetServerAuthCode API instead.

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