Google Play Store Embraces NFT Games, Excludes Gambling Titles

In an official blog post on July 12, Joseph Mills, the group product manager of Google Play, announced that the platform has updated its policy to allow the sale of nonfungible token (NFT) games on its store. Mills expressed the store’s enthusiasm for embracing blockchain-based digital content and mentioned the potential for enhancing user loyalty through unique NFT rewards.

This move by Google Play comes after it banned crypto mining apps from its store in 2018 and removed the Bitcoin Blast video game in 2020 due to deceptive practices. Apple’s App Store, in October, stated that NFTs purchased outside of its ecosystem cannot confer special benefits within a game, and any violation of this policy would result in a ban. Furthermore, NFTs sold through the App Store version of a game are subject to a 30% fee imposed by Apple.

These actions and statements led to concerns among industry experts that mobile NFT games were under attack. However, Google Play’s recent policy update makes it clear that such games are welcome on Android devices, provided they adhere to certain rules.

According to the blog post, developers must transparently disclose whether a game enables users to earn or purchase NFTs or cryptocurrencies. Glamorizing potential earnings from gameplay or trading activities is prohibited, as is the sale of loot boxes or the inclusion of gambling features.

As long as these guidelines are followed, games can incorporate tokenized assets as part of the gaming experience and even reimagine traditional games with user-owned content. Google Play collaborated with leaders in Web3 gaming to establish these guidelines and intends to maintain engagement with developers to better understand their challenges and opportunities.

It is worth noting that Web3 games have faced restrictions on the world’s largest PC game distribution platform, Steam. However, Epic Games, a competitor to Steam, recently launched the NFT card game Gods Unchained in its store on June 22, signaling a different approach to NFT games within its ecosystem.

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