As long as they maintain transparency and follow other guidelines, the business is allowing developers to allow users to purchase, sell, or earn digital assets in apps.
Today, Google Play made a significant change to its policies, allowing developers to include digital assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in their store-listed apps and games. Companies that choose to make tokenized assets available for purchase, sale, or earning must disclose in the Play Console that the app has components that are blockchain-based.
Google Play’s Group Product Manager Joseph Mills stated in a blog post that this will enable partners to reimagine “traditional games with user-owned content” and increase “user loyalty through unique NFT rewards.”
One of the partners working with Google on the new policy was Reddit, which has had tremendous success with its Avatar NFTs. Reddit’s senior technical manager, Matt Williamson, was mentioned in the article as saying that the amended rules are “aimed at creating a level playing field that promotes user trust and responsible usage of blockchain technology.”
Mills wrote, “while tokenized assets are meant to build more enriched, immersive experiences, as an added user protection, developers may not promote or glamorize any potential earning from playing or trading activities.” User trust is crucial. Google Play’s Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests policy remains. Apps that haven’t passed gambling eligibility rules can’t encourage buying in-game items like “loot boxes” for NFTs.
In 2021, Google removed “Bitcoin Blast” from the Play Store without explanation, calling its blockchain policy a “black box.” The new rules won’t impact the store’s 2018 prohibition on Bitcoin mining apps.
In 2022, the business allowed ArDrive Mobile, a decentralized data storage app, and Axie Infinity: Origins to be featured in some Google Play markets, signaling a change in Web3 policy. In April 2023, Google Cloud launched a Web3 startup accelerator.
According to a Google Play spokesperson, the new policy will be implemented fully later this year. Users may begin to witness early tests of the new experiences in late summer as Google Play works with a small initial set of developers.