The store’s team said games can offer NFTs for sale or to earn, but developers must declare this feature in their game’s descriptions and must not allow gambling.
The Google Play store now allows video game publishers to sell nonfungible token (NFT) games in its store, according to a July 12 blog post from the store’s group product manager, Joseph Mills. In the post, Mills states that Google Play is “pleased to share that we’re updating our policy to open new ways to transact blockchain-based digital content within apps and games on Google Play,” including “boosting user loyalty through unique NFT rewards.”
Google Play banned crypto mining apps from its store in 2018 and removed the Bitcoin Blast video game for “deceptive practices” in 2020. Apple’s App Store stated in October that NFTs purchased outside of the App Store cannot offer any special benefits to users in a game, or else the game will be banned. In addition, NFTs sold through Apple’s App Store version of a game must pay a 30% fee to Apple.
These actions and statements caused many industry experts to believe that mobile NFT games were under attack. However, the new policy from Google Play makes clear that these games are welcome on Android devices, as long as they follow a few rules.
According to the post, developers must clearly state if a game allows users to earn or buy NFTs or cryptocurrencies. In addition, game developers are not allowed to “glamorize any potential earning from playing or trading activities,” nor can they sell loot boxes or otherwise allow players to gamble.
As long as they abide by these rules, games can offer tokenized assets as part of the gaming experience, including by “reimagining traditional games with user-owned content,” the post said. Google Play indicated that it set these guidelines in cooperation with Web3 gaming leaders and will “continue to engage with developers to understand their challenges and opportunities.”
Web3 games have also been banned by the world’s largest PC game distributor, Steam. However, Steam’s competitor, Epic Games, launched NFT card game Gods Unchained in its store on June 22.