Tons of games have found various ways to gamify experience and engagement to keep people playing. So, naturally, Google’s using the same idea on a platform-wide level and rolling it out to Australians.
It’s called Google Play Points, and it’s a new rewards program that is live in Australia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. It was first announced alongside Google Play Pass, which was Google’s answer to the Apple Arcade subscription service.
The idea isn't too dissimilar from My Nintendo points at first. As you buy games, books, subscriptions or anything through your Google Play account, you'll earn a certain amount of Google Play Points. You can get these for downloading free games and apps too, provided they're featured on the Google Play store. (You can see the obvious potential for advertisement here.)
Points can be redeemed for Google Play credits, so you can just straight out buy other items, games or in-game items if you want. But the main hook is the ability to redeem virtual items through your Google Play Points. Google says they're working with developers so you can use the Google Play Points to buy gems, characters and other things in "some of your favourite apps and games".
It's not clear what those games are just yet, but the official page has icons for PUBG Mobile, Pokemon Go, Clash of Clans, Star Trek Fleet Command, Mafia City, Lords: Mobile Kingdom Wars, MARVEL Strike Force, Guns of Glory, Angry Birds Dream Blast, Call of Duty: Mobile (in the smallest possible icon size imaginable), and more.
Play Points will have four levels, with higher tiers giving you more points for every dollar spent, extra points during virtual weekly events and something called "Premium Support" for presumably any problems you have trying to buy more virtual stuff.
Joining is free, and once you do so you'll be able to see how far Google Play Points is supported. You can use Google Play Points now in Genshin Impact or Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, for instance.
The Google Play Points program has been live in the United States since 2019, so today makes its first release in Australia.