Google Play to Allow NFTs and Blockchain in Apps and Games

"Firstly, it offers a clear policy for the use of blockchain in games and apps. This call for clarity from lawmakers, whether at a platform level or international governments, is a theme at present and a necessity, so it's great to see Google acting. Secondly, the pushback on Play-to-Earn (P2E), gambling, and other unscrupulous uses of the tech is also imperative. We are finally building foundations that larger organizations can work on without the fear of uncertainty."

Just a few years ago, every platform was either outright rejecting anything that touched blockchain, or they were remaining quiet enough that they could block what they wanted, but keep skin in the game. This year, we have seen many platforms change tack, most recently, Google Play.

Steam, Apple, Google — it felt as if the world was against blockchain technology. The web3-ite in me loathed that the tech giants were causing resistance to innovation. Conversely, the more objective side of me suspected that they were shying away while the industry found some stability (apart from Steam because Gabe really fired off some unjustified derision.)

Well, we have already started to see some U-turns and policy adjustments and mobile has been the hotbed of change. Late last year, Apple began allowing some NFTs, albeit with their Apple tax applied. Then, a few months ago, Apple allowed the Move-to-Earn game, STEPN, to integrate Apple Pay, which was something of a milestone. Not to be outdone, Google has now announced a full policy update.

Google Play and Its New Policy for Blockchain

In the blog post, Google announces that the policy will allow for blockchain-based digital content within apps and games to aid innovation. It calls for transparency from developers — the declaration that blockchain is being used and if they sell NFTs or tokens — and there are (slightly vague) instructions not to glamorize earning from games or apps. In keeping with that is a reminder that apps and games must adhere to gambling regulations.

Google has been quietly working with a whole host of web3 folk, including Mythical Games (whose web3 mobile game has been doing tremendously well), Reddit (whose avatar collectibles are on-chain), and Sky Mavis (of Axie Infinity fame).

We really appreciate Google’s partnership in this collaborative effort to bring about innovation in this space and move these new economies forward. 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.

— John Linden, CEO, Mythical Games

At Reddit we believe in empowering our users by providing transparency and a responsible approach to blockchain-based digital content – like our Collectible Avatars. We partnered with Google to help update their policy, aimed at creating a level playing field that promotes user trust, and responsible usage of blockchain technology. By setting clear guidelines, we can ensure that our users make informed decisions while enjoying immersive experiences.

— Matt Williamson, Senior Engineering Manager, Reddit

To my eyes, this is an across-the-board win. Firstly, it offers a clear policy for the use of blockchain in games and apps. This call for clarity from lawmakers, whether at a platform level or international governments, is a theme at present and a necessity, so it’s great to see Google acting. Secondly, the pushback on Play-to-Earn (P2E), gambling, and other unscrupulous uses of the tech is also imperative. We are finally building foundations that larger organizations can work on without the fear of uncertainty.

Lead image by Victoria_Regen from Pixabay

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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