Google is now planning to become more strict with developers regarding the in-app purchases. The move would be announced by next week and this will surely upset some developers who have already circumvented the rules of Google.
A report by Bloomberg said that Google will update their policies and clarify a requirement for apps to use the In-app billing service of Google Play for in-app purchases.
The policies of Google are definitely not going to change. Google would not allow developers to convince users to pay through their credit card instead of offering a subscription by Google’s billing service for in-app purchases.
According to the existing guidelines of Google Play Store :
• Developers who offer products within a game download on Google Play or provide access to game content have to use the In-app billing service of Google as a mode of payment.
• Developers who offer products in another category of app downloaded at Google Play have to use In-app billing service of Google Play as the mode of payment, except if –
° Payment is only for physical products.
° Payment is for digital content which might be consumed outside the app.
These policies are not changed yet and Google has allowed a few companies to circumvent the guideline by turning a blind eye while offering an alternate mode of payment. Since Google is ready to double down on requirement, developers would get a short grace period to comply before facing enforcement. Apple has recently been on the news for this, although they have enforced their own requirements from the very beginning.
The updated policies of Google will surely increase the battle between developers and Apple and Google. They are already involved in a legal battle with Epic Games who tried to circumvent the policies of App Store and Play Store by convincing Fortnite players to directly purchase in-game content from Epic. Apple and Google eventually removed Fortnite from their app stores.
It has been announced that a few developers like Epic Games, Spotify and Tile are banding together to create Coalition for App Fairness. The aim of the group is to create level playing field for app businesses.
The Android platform of Google allows users to access multiple app stores and apps can also be side-loaded. But developers have to abide by the rules of Google if they want to be in the Play Store. It will be great to see the response when Google clarifies the stance on in-app purchases next week.