Google has announced that it will allow developers to offer users the ability to trade and earn digital assets, such as NFTs, in games and apps sold through Google Play.
“Today, we’re 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,” wrote the company in a blog post for Android-developers. “From reimagining traditional games with user-owned content to boosting user loyalty through unique NFT rewards, we’re excited to see creative in-app experiences flourish and help developers expand their businesses.
The move marks a remarkable shift in policy for the tech giants while opening the door for more users to take their first steps into the world of web3 gaming without having to install third-party app stores.
The potential of the blockchain
Google notes that “like with any emerging technology, [it] must balance innovation with [its] responsibility to protect users.” As such, all apps which incorporate digital assets will be required to make it clear that their title incorporates blockchain-based elements.”
The company goes on to write that “while tokenised assets are meant to build more enriched, immersive experiences, as an added user protection, developers may not promote or glamourise any potential earning from playing or trading activities.”
Additionally, apps cannot accept money for the chance to win assets, including NFTs, unless they have met Google Play’s gambling eligibility criteria, and the value of all NFTs available for sale must be made clear to users at the time of purchase.
"We really appreciate Google's partnership in this collaborative effort to bring about innovation in this space and move these new economies forward,” said Mythical Games CEO John Linden. “We think these new policies are steps forward for both players and developers alike and will positively impact the adoption of new technology while also protecting consumers."
Looking forward, Google will “continue to engage with developers to understand their challenges and opportunities — and how we can best support them in building sustainable businesses using blockchain technology.
“As a next step, we’re talking to industry partners about further improving our support of blockchain-based app experiences, including in areas such as secondary markets.”