Google Play Breaks the Ice Ushering NFTs into Apps and Games


  • Google Play now allows NFT integration in apps and games.
  • Google’s policy shift promotes the responsible use of blockchain technology.
  • Google’s new guidelines prohibit glamorizing potential earnings from NFTs.

In a groundbreaking move, Google Play today swung open the doors to the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in its apps and games. Consequently, developers can enable users to purchase, sell, or earn digital assets within their applications. However, this innovative step comes with strings attached: absolute transparency and adherence to Google Play’s guidelines.

According to reports, the policy shift is a significant departure from Google’s erstwhile approach to blockchain-based apps. Up until recently, Google’s policies were a veritable black box. Apps like “Bitcoin Blast” were removed from the Play Store in 2021 with little explanation. Additionally, crypto mining apps faced a blanket ban in 2018, an unchanged rule.

However, times have changed. Google Play has shown an evolving attitude towards Web3 technologies. In 2022, Google made room for ArDrive Mobile, an app enabling decentralized data storage, and listed Axie Infinity: Origins in selected markets. Moreover, an initiative was announced by Google Cloud in April 2023 to bolster Web3 developers and their startups.

Joseph Mills, Google Play’s Group Product Manager, highlighted in a blog post the potential for these changes to revolutionize traditional gaming through user-owned content. He also pointed to enhancing user loyalty via exclusive NFT rewards.

On the same note, Reddit, a firm that has seen huge success with its Avatar NFTs, partnered with Google to formulate this new policy. Matt Williamson, Reddit’s senior engineering manager, emphasized the goal of the updated guidelines: fostering user trust and promoting responsible use of blockchain technology.

Besides enabling more immersive user experiences, tokenized assets bring additional user protection. Nonetheless, developers are prohibited from promoting or romanticizing potential earnings from in-game activities. Hence, apps that haven’t met gambling eligibility can’t incentivize purchases of items like “loot boxes” with the chance of winning NFTs.

In conclusion, Google Play’s shift in policy marks a crucial milestone in adopting blockchain technology. It not only offers innovative tools for developers but also promises enriched experiences for users. Significantly, the first tests of this policy are set to roll out by late summer, as Google Play works closely with a select group of developers.