- Google will better enforce rules that require apps and games on the Play Store to use the in-app purchase system.
- However, Android 12 makes it easier to use third-party app stores.
- This happens exactly when Apple and Google go to the trouble of removing Fortnite via in-app rules.
Google has a reputation for having looser app guidelines than Apple. However, this could change to some extent with an upcoming action. The company warns developers that it will enforce its in-app purchase policies for the Play Store in 2021, even if it promises better support for third-party stores in Android 12.
The internet giant has added clarity to in-app purchases on the Play Store, noting that it will need to use Google’s billing system for digital goods like game add-ons (and thereby lowering sales). The policy will go into effect on January 20, 2021, but Google will give developers until September 30, 2021 to make changes to avoid “inappropriate disruption”[ing]” Plans.
However, app makers who are reluctant to take the new approach will not be unlucky. Google said it would change Android 12 to make third-party app stores “even easier” to use without compromising security. The company promised more details at an unspecified time in the future.
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The company said the move would affect less than 3% of Play Store developers and that it would apply the billing rules to its own apps. As before, she maintained that the cut in sales was necessary in order to be able to “continuously reinvest in the platform” and to link her success directly with that of the developers.
Nevertheless, the new measures could raise objections from app creators and users. You’ve come to the right place, as app store owners have been harshly criticized for guidelines requiring developers to use official in-app purchase systems for games. Apple is the most noticeable example as Fortnite was kicked from the App Store with no real alternative. However, Google is also having problems allegedly canceling deals that would have brought Fortnite to phones by bypassing the Play Store and its in-app purchases. Android 12 will partially address these concerns, but not eliminate them.
In practice, a presence in the Google Play Store is practically required for Android apps to be successful in many countries where the storefront is available – Fortnite included. Developers who don’t want to share their earnings with Google often have to accept that they will generate fewer sales. As long as this is true, Google’s in-app purchase requirements don’t leave developers much realistic options.