Google has revived the NFT sector by allowing developers to integrate digital assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into their android games. The tech giant has given NFT investors, especially those with Play-to-Earn (P2E) NFTs, the hope of survival after a period of decline in asset prices.
Google Sets Rules For Blockchain Games
Among the key initiatives for Google’s Android division for the year 2023 was to encourage developer innovation while ensuring users and their data are protected. The company said it was exploring changes to its Google Play Store policies that would give developers clear guidelines to add NFTs to their Android games.
To that end, Google has unveiled new rules that allow and regulate blockchain games and apps. As part of the requirements and policy updates, Google Play, through its Group Product Manager Joseph Mills said,” As part of the policy update, we’re requiring that apps be transparent with users about tokenized digital assets.”
We'd like to congratulate @GooglePlay on this update to their NFT policy.
The future of gaming is rooted in ownership and property rights and this landmark decision is another step towards freedom for gamers.
We're proud of the work we've done alongside the Google Play team in… pic.twitter.com/5HADstOI4i
— Axie Infinity (@AxieInfinity) July 13, 2023
As such, if an app or game sells or enables users to earn tokenized digital assets, developers are required to declare this clearly. Developers are also prohibited from promoting or glamorizing any earning potential as a measure to protect users.
Additionally, apps are required to comply with Google Plays Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests policy. Failure to do so will render the app unable to accept any money from users for chances to win assets or rewards.
Even though Google has allowed game developers to offer in-game NFTs to users, the NFTs cannot be wagered on and sweepstakes are not permitted. Therefore, any wagering or betting mechanics will require the developer to meet Google’s gambling eligibility requirements.
Unlike Apple which does not allow NFTs to unlock in-app functionalities, Google confirmed to Decrypt that NFTs in the games and apps will have the ability to unlock content and capabilities. Notably, this is regardless of where the NFT was purchased.
The company expressed that the new policy is being tested with a small number of developers before it is broadly implemented for all developers on Google Play later this year. As such, the in-app and game experiences are expected to start appearing for consumers later this summer.
Google also stated that it plans to work with industry leaders to further improve its support of blockchain-based app experiences, including in areas such as secondary markets. So far the company has worked with Reddit’s Senior Engineering Manager, Matt Williamson, as well Mythical Games to better structure its guidelines.
The Revival of The NFT Sector
This move was celebrated by the NFT industry players whose art pieces had once been the most interesting assets in the crypto industry. However, over the past few months, NFTs have been losing their luster in the eyes of users causing their value to decline.
Wow, Google is really pushing the boundaries! Embracing NFTs in apps and games is a game-changer. Love to see innovation take flight!
— NFTevening ɢᴍ (@NFTevening) July 13, 2023
According to blockchain analytics platform CryptoSlam, the monthly global sales volumes for NFTs decreased 38% to $653 million in June when compared to the same month last year.
This move signifies a significant milestone for Google with regard to NFTs. Before this, Google’s approach to blockchain-based apps had been referred to as a black box. This is due to games like Bitcoin Blast being removed from the Play Store in 2021 without any explanation.
Moreover, the store forbade cryptocurrency mining apps in 2018, and the new rules have not made a change to that policy.
Despite the ban, Google’s attitude towards NFTs is much more open and welcoming than that of its rival, Apple. Although Apple permits users to browse other collections, they are not permitted to display external links, buttons, or calls to action for NFT purchases. According to Apple’s official policies, users can only buy NFTs using the company’s in-app payment mechanism. Even then, these purchases are subject to an additional 30% fee.
Seeing Google’s developments, Apple could potentially change its mind and update its policy to match its rival’s stance in embracing and empowering the blockchain industry.
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