Google developers have published a new post in the Android Developers Blog, detailing new features that aim to help developers release apps and games to grow their business on Google Play. Among several developer features such as customizable feature delivery, seamless internal testing, they also announced a redesign to their rating system, which will go live in August. The redesign mainly refers to a change in how the storefront displays scores, with recent scores and reviews now becoming more visible to users, whereas the storefront will retain a “lifetime cumulative value” of all scores combined.
The change aims to give more weight to recent ratings, which will both help users discern the current state of a given app or game, and allow developers to gauge complaints from users and players in order to address the complaints with patches or new features. In the post, Google developers said they agree with many users who asked for a rating that reflects the current version of their apps or games, instead of a rating that only reflects the overall state of the app or game since the original release, which for many developers could be years.
Although the Google blog post doesn’t share any further insight on exactly how the reviews will be weighted under the new system, the “most recent ratings” will receive more influence in the overall scheme. While the update to the rating system will only go live on the storefront in August, developers can already see their new ratings through the Google Play Console. Along with this new rating system, Google will introduce another system that facilitates how developers can respond to user reviews. According to Google’s data, users whose comments and reviews are acknowledged tend to increase their rating by 0.7 stars. Google explained the new response system in the blog post:
When you go to respond to a user, you’ll see three suggested replies which have been created automatically based on the content of the review. You can choose to send one as-suggested, customize a suggestion for more personalization, or create your own message from scratch.
There are already suggested replies available in English, and Google plans to add support for other languages in the near future.
What do you think of the new rating system for Google Play? Do you think it’s setting the scene for games on Google Stadia as well? Let us know in the comments below!