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Inside Google’s blockchain content policy

The tech giant has recently revealed its policy on in-app blockchain and NFT and commentators are digging deep as to what it all means
Inside Google’s blockchain content policy
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Google recently announced that it will allow for the sale of NFTs in apps and games sold through Google Play, opening up “new ways to transact blockchain-based content within apps and games”.

The move follows Apple’s own decision to allow for the sale of blockchain content on the App Store, and in its analysis of the move, Deconstructor of Fun notes that Google has assumed a more cooperative position than its competitor. While Apple merely updated its guidelines, Google dedicating a post to the change in policy results in more transparency, allowing developers and consumers alike more clarity on exactly how the technology can be used and sold.

Notably, Google requiring developers to make it clear that their games utilise blockchain policy closes a common practice in the industry of intentionally hiding blockchain and NFT content in-game, focusing on promoting the game itself until users are sufficiently invested in the title to avoid negative sentiment regarding blockchain.

Different approaches

Ultimately Google’s decision to ban offering blockchain content as prizes, including in loot boxes, helps to avoid the controversy that loot boxes themselves have been the subject of.

“One of the well-known aspects of the blockchain games business is the presence of traders and their motivations to constantly trade assets for quick profits,” they suggest. “So, by removing uncertainties about the value of NFT purchases, it seems like Google is going for the safest route for blockchain games.”

Notably, the report identifies a key difference between Google and Apple’s blockchain policies. While Apple’s policy is that NFTs offered in-game shouldn’t be used to unlock in-game features, Google has taken the opposite in approach by requiring that “NFTs bought by users should be consumer or used in the game to enhance a user’s experience or aid users in advancing the game.” As such, Google is opening the door to blockchain game developers who want to use the technology in a way contrary to what Apple allows.

Deconstructor of fun notes that, while the blockchain gaming industry has a long way to go before they enter the mainstream, Google and Apple’s new policies represent small but significant steps in the right direction.

Last month, we spoke to Immutable Games COO Justin Hulog about blockchain’s potential on mobile.