Fantasy Card Games to Feature on Google Play Store for One Year.

Since the business has launched a limited-time pilot program to permit real-money games like daily fantasy sports (DFS) and rummy applications on its app marketplace, Google is reversing its long-standing policy of prohibiting fantasy real-money games on its Play Store around the globe. The DFS and rummy applications must apply to be added to the Play Store, according to Google, and the pilot program will run for a year starting on September 28.

DFS games are those in which players manage rosters of simulated athletes whose performance exactly matches that of real athletes on sports teams or in sporting events by using their knowledge of athletic competitions and athletes. This is a big step for Google, which has previously prohibited such programs from appearing in its app store.

The company had taken such a strict stance on these applications that in 2020 it temporarily disabled the payments app Paytm from the Play Store for advertising its fantasy application Paytm First Games, which Google believed to be a betting application. 

Even though such apps are not currently available on Google’s Play Store, the sector has seen three start-ups — Dream11, Mobile Premier League, and Games 247 — become unicorns, or private companies valued at $1 billion or more. These apps had to be sideloaded on Android, which meant that users had to install them using a software package downloaded directly from the Internet.

Notably, developers chosen for the pilot will be unable to offer Google’s in-app billing mechanism and will instead be required to include alternate third-party billing features in their apps. According to reports, Google will not charge a commission on transactions made through these apps, following its global service fee policy for such apps.

“We’re always looking for new ways for local developers to build successful businesses and provide delightful experiences on Google Play.” “Through this pilot program, we are taking a measured approach that will allow us to collate learnings while maintaining an enjoyable and safe experience for our users,” said a company spokesperson in a statement.

As Google faces regulatory scrutiny for its Play Store practices around the world, the company has recently diluted some of its policies in an attempt to alleviate some of those concerns. It announced earlier this week that it will allow non-gaming Android app developers from several countries, including Kenya, to offer third-party payment options as part of a pilot project. Developers’ service fees of 15-30% will be reduced by 4% on these alternative payment systems.

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