Google will allow more real-money games on the Play StoreReading Time: 2 minutes
Google announced today that the company plans to support more real-money games (RMG) on the Play Store this year by allowing more types of games in the category following local laws.
The search giant said that the program with extended support for real-money gaming will start in India, Brazil, and Mexico in June with roll out in more countries planned in the future.
Google is also considering a new service fee model for subscriptions and in-app purchases. However, the company didn’t disclose many details about the cut it will take from developers.
‘With this policy update, we will also be evolving our service fee model for RMG to reflect the value Google Play provides and to help sustain the Android and Play ecosystems. We are working closely with developers to ensure our new approach reflects the unique economics and various developer earning models of this industry,’ Karan Gambhir, Director, Global Trust & Safety Partnerships at Google said in a blog post.
Typically, Google has allowed real-money gaming apps that are governed by local regulatory frameworks for a particular type. With the change in policy, the company will allow more types of real-money gaming apps, which are legal but not regulated.
Google started working on including real-money gaming apps on the Play Store in 2021. In 2022, it started a pilot in India to allow fantasy sports and Rummy apps on the local Play Store. Last year, Google provided an extension to already approved apps until January 15. And with the latest announcement, the pilot apps will have a grace period until June 30.
In 2020, Google pulled Paytm’s app from the Play Store because the app included newly introduced fantasy sports elements.
The pilot also had regulations around age verification and ID verification. Google started a similar pilot in Mexico last November, which will also extend to June 30. After that developers will be able to publish their real-money gaming apps on the Play Store beyond fantasy sports categories.
Google said it will publish detailed policies around the change in the next few months, but it will include guardrails such as age limits and geo-restrictions.
A new service fee on real-money games will be a key factor for Google Play Store’s revenue as the company facing scrutiny worldwide to allow developers to use alternative payment methods. It typically provides a 4% discount on service fees under its user-choice billing program, which was piloted in 2022 and still has select partners.
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