As outlined in a blog post by Joseph Mills, Group Product Manager at Google Play, the platform is “updating our policy to open new ways to transact blockchain-based digital content within apps and games on Google Play,” particularly by “boosting user loyalty through unique NFT rewards.”
The platform had previously banned cryptocurrency mining apps in 2018 and removed a Bitcoin-based game for “deceptive practices” in 2020, raising concerns within the industry about the future of mobile NFT games.
However, Mills’ announcement signals a new dawn for these games on Android devices, providing they follow Google Play’s guidelines.
NFT Games: Rules of Engagement on Google Play Store
Per the policy update, game developers must be transparent about the presence of NFTs or cryptocurrencies in their games.
They are prohibited from “glamorizing any potential earning from playing or trading activities,” and from selling loot boxes or facilitating any form of gambling.
As Mills said in the post, games may include tokenized assets within the gaming experience and even reimagine traditional games with user-owned content.
These guidelines were created in collaboration with Web3 gaming leaders, and Google Play intends to “continue to engage with developers to understand their challenges and opportunities.“
Implications for the iGaming Industry
This shift towards the acceptance of NFT games in the Google Play Store could have significant implications for the broader iGaming industry:
- Enhanced Gaming Experience: With the incorporation of NFTs, traditional games can be transformed, offering players the opportunity to truly own in-game assets and potentially drive stronger user engagement and loyalty.
- Greater Transparency: By requiring developers to declare NFT or cryptocurrency involvement in their games, Google Play is enhancing transparency, reducing the potential for deceptive practices, and protecting gamers.
- Regulation and Compliance: While Google Play’s move opens up opportunities, the restrictions against NFT gambling games and glamorizing earning potential will compel developers to tread a fine line to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.
While we have yet to see the full impact of this policy shift, one thing is clear: NFT games are no longer under attack, and this could mark a significant turning point for their future on mobile platforms.