Google now needs Play Store app developers to reveal the chances of receiving items in loot boxes, and a number of other changes to make the app store more child-friendly. This brings its policy in line with the Apple App Store, and it is taking place in a broader debate about arranging outdoor boxes – which critics describe as an addictive gambling system that is often aimed at children.
Android police noted that new language has been added to Google's payment rules. "Apps that offer mechanisms to receive randomized virtual items from a purchase (i.e.," outside boxes ") must clearly reveal the chances of receiving those items prior to the purchase," he says now. Google comes here relatively late, since Apple changed its policy at the end of 2017.
Paid, randomized outdoor boxes – as opposed to items earned through normal gameplay – have been on the radar of regulators and regulators in recent years. Belgium recently defined loot boxes as a form of gambling, which forced some companies to stop offering them or withdraw games from the Belgian market. China began to oblige game companies to reveal the opportunities to receive valuables in 2017, and a new US law would prohibit the sale of loot boxes to minors.
Practice has also brought legal cases: the parents of a minor Fortnite player prosecuted his developer Epic in February and claimed that they were penalized by his "predatory" Lama outdoor boxes. Epic changed its policy in January so that players could see what they were buying.
In addition to the rule-breaking rule, Google now requires developers to set a target audience for their apps, and apps that children target (alone or with adults) must follow family policies. That includes limiting the type of ads that can appear, adding security warnings to experiences with added reality, and revealing what kind of information they collect about children. Apps that are specifically aimed at children must also comply with the stricter rules of the & # 39; Designed for Families & # 39 ;. As part of a separate change, Google has also banned developers from selling marijuana directly through apps.
All existing apps must comply with the new rules by 1 September at the latest.