Google Play's new policy guidelines for blockchain games developers and NFTs act as a much-needed breakthrough for the web3 gaming industry
Last week Google Play dropped the bombshell in its policy updates for July 2023 allowing tokenized digital assets on its platform. These new policy guidelines for blockchain developers act as a much-needed opening and a breakthrough for the web3 gaming industry this year. However, this breakthrough comes with a catch. Developers must adhere to the guidelines and remain transparent to bring their games to the Play Store. Additionally, developers shall not promote or glamorize any potential earnings from playing games or doing trade activities. This makes play-to-earn games much more challenging to make it to the Play Store.
There is more, Google also denounces NFTs using gacha-type mechanics. Moreover, developers having blockchain-powered gambling games need to follow gambling-related content guidelines.
Google Play Store NFT Policy May Reinvigorate NFT Hype
Play Store’s opening its door for blockchain games comes a long time after the initial hype of NFTs started. The roller coaster ride saw so many investors pouring in tons of money into blockchain game developers. Now, several big names, and investors are parting ways amid a wave of criticism. Recently, we saw Sega pivoting away from NFTs and this week Neopets pulled the plug on NFTs. And before that, we saw hacking issues, the FTX collapse, the raging crypto winter, and whatnot. To top it all off, there is constant criticism coming from fans and media houses on blockchain and NFT gaming. So, there is a lot of pressure that is making companies succumb to it. On the contrary, there are top game developers working on building AAA web3 games. They are using blockchain tech to bring in ownership and value for gamers.
Play Store’s decision to let in NFT games feels a bit too late and that is unfortunate that it didn’t coincide with the hype. Nevertheless, it can turn out as a major breakthrough for the industry, and experts are positive about it.
Ultra Games Nicolas Gilot on Google’s NFT Policy
“It feels like a significant step towards integrating blockchain technology into our everyday lives and making it more accessible to a broader audience.
Apple has taken a more cautious stance. It remains to be seen whether Apple will follow suit. However, if Google’s policy change proves successful and attracts developers and more users, it may apply pressure on Apple to reconsider its current approach. The impact of these small wins will undoubtedly shape the decisions of gaming giants in the near future.”
Web3 Gaming Industry Experts on Google’s Decision
Flavien Defraire, the Director of Global Development at Blockchain Game Alliance, expressed his excitement. "Google's decision to change its policy toward blockchain-based apps is incredibly exciting news, especially for those who have been tirelessly working on cross-platform development with the anticipation of such advancements. This forward-thinking approach presents a remarkable opportunity to explore new avenues of creativity in gaming."
Much-Needed Clarity from Google on NFTs: CEO Mighty Bear Games
For developers, the clarity provided by Google's new policy is deemed hugely significant. Simon Davies, the CEO of Mighty Bear Games, emphasized the importance of clear guidelines for developers to build within, stating, "We want to respect and build within clear guidelines, and this gives us the clarity needed to invest and start rolling out new games and experiences. There's never been a better time to be building in Web3 than today. This is a once-in-a-decade moment where a new platform emerges. Like with mobile, those who are at the outset will reap huge rewards further down the line."
Web3 Games Can Now Go Mainstream Quickly
Chris Akhavan, the Head of Games at Magic Eden, echoed the sentiments of the gaming community. Akhavan expressed enthusiasm over Google Play's official acceptance of web3-enabled games and apps on their platform. He noted, "Mobile remains the largest distribution platform in the world by far. The barriers to exploring web3 integration into mobile apps have definitely held the industry back. The new messaging from Google is likely to revive interest in exploring the use of NFTs among mobile game studios. It gives the broader ecosystem a boost of confidence to be able to invest in building great mobile games and apps."
The decision is expected to stimulate interest in the use of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) within the mobile gaming sector, thereby facilitating greater user engagement and interactive experiences. However, Akhavan pointed out that there are still some hurdles to overcome, urging Apple and Google to be more open in addressing key issues for web3 developers. In particular, the requirement of using fiat-based in-app purchases exclusively for all payments related to games, NFTs, and other content has posed challenges for integrating cryptocurrencies and noncustodial wallets. The industry is hopeful that further openness in this area will be explored by both tech giants in the future.
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