In a significant move, Google Play has updated its store policy to allow transactions involving blockchain-based content within apps and games. This policy revision reflects the growing interest in tokenized digital assets, including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Joseph Mills, the group product manager at Google Play, emphasized that this decision was made in collaboration with Web3 game developers, including Mythical Games.
Previously, platforms like Apple, Google, and Steam discouraged developers from selling NFT games unless they had a substantial Web2 component, which allowed players to engage in free-to-play games and make payments with credit cards rather than cryptocurrencies. Enabling crypto payments would circumvent the system, resulting in major platforms not receiving fees for in-app and in-game transactions.
Google Play’s policy change could signify a paradigm shift, opening up blockchain games to a wider audience and addressing distribution challenges faced by blockchain game companies, who previously relied on the Epic Games store and the open web.
Mythical Games is one of the beneficiaries of this policy shift, as their game NFL Rivals reported over a million downloads in June. The Web2 and Web3 requirements ensure that platform owners like Google Play continue to collect their 30% transaction fee.
This could have a significant impact on developers, potentially requiring them to downplay the “play-to-earn” descriptions that became popular during the NFT boom in 2021.
The policy update was the result of extensive consultations with app and game developers, aiming to create a fair environment that instills confidence among users and promotes responsible use of blockchain technology. Partnerships with industry leaders like Mythical Games and Reddit played a crucial role in shaping the updated guidelines.
Google Play plans to test and implement these in-app and in-game experiences throughout the summer, with the full policy set to apply to all developers on the platform later this year. Notably, owning NFTs will now unlock in-app content, regardless of whether users purchased the NFT through a Google Play app or already owned it.