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Android policy change adds blockchain support for Google Play apps

Much like how Apple now allows NFTs on its App Store, Google's permitting NFTs and blockchain technology to be a part of its Android ecosystem.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

July 13, 2023

1 Min Read
Logo for Google Play.

Starting today, blockchain content is now allowed to exist within pre-existing apps and games on Google Play. 

Android recently updated its policy to allow digital items (such as NFTs) to exist in releases that didn't already feature them, saying the change "helps developers bring innovative ideas to life. [...] We’re excited to see creative in-app experiences flourish and help developers expand their businesses.

With its changed stance on blockchain, Android joins Apple in allowing the controversial technology on its storefront. Late last year, Apple permitted NFTs to exist on its App Store, though only via in-app purchases and Apple receiving a 30 percent cut of all sales. 

In its guidelines outlining the blockchain support, Android states that developers have to explicitly state if an app or game "enables users to earn tokenized digital assets. [...] As an added user protection, developers may not promote or glamorize any potential earning from playing or trading activities."

Further, any app that hasn't already met Google Play's eligibility requirements for its real-world gambling policy "cannot accept money for a chance to win assets of unknown real-world monetary value, including NFTs." It's advised that developers don't offer NFT loot boxes, where the end value isn't clear from the outset. 

Android's support of blockchain comes as interest around the technology seems to have balanced out. Though Square Enix, for example, appears to being going full steam ahead with its blockchain endeavors, others like Sega have walked back their stance on it, to a point. 

Days after openly wondering how well the technology will take off, Sega announced a deal with Line Next for a blockchain title based on one of its "immensely popular" franchises.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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