Google Updates Advertising Policy on NFT Gaming

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Google has clarified its stance on advertising for blockchain-based games involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Effective from September 15, 2023, the tech giant announced,

Beginning September 15, 2023, advertisers offering NFT games that do not promote gambling-related content may advertise those products and services when they meet the following requirements.

The revised policy stipulates that advertisers can promote NFT games that allow players to purchase in-game items, such as “virtual apparel for a player’s characters, weaponry, or armor with better stats, consumed or used in a game to enhance a user’s experience or aid users in advancing the game.” However, Google explicitly mentioned that for NFT games, the following are not allowed:

Games that allow players to stake NFTs in exchange for fungible tokens such as cryptocurrencies” and “Simulated casino gambling (for example, poker, slots or roulette) that offer the opportunity to win NFTs.

To advertise gambling-related content that incorporates NFTs, advertisers must adhere to Google’s “Gambling and games policy” and, as Google points out, they need to “receive the proper Google Ads certification.”

This policy update is a significant shift from Google’s previous stance. In 2018, Google had imposed a blanket ban on all cryptocurrency-related advertising across its platforms. The ban was later relaxed in June 2021, allowing certain companies to advertise.

Reiterating the importance of compliance, Google stated,

As a reminder, we expect all advertisers to comply with the local laws for any area that their ads target. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these products.

Importantly, Google also clarified the consequences of violations, noting that 

Violations of this policy will not lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least 7 days, before any suspension of your account.

This policy revision aims to provide clearer guidelines for advertising blockchain-based games with NFTs, reflecting the evolving landscape of the digital gaming and cryptocurrency sectors.

Google has now been accepting crypto and NFT related products. As reported by Blockchain.News on July 12, 2023, Google Play Store announced that video game publishers can now sell NFT games on its platform. Joseph Mills, the store’s group product manager, highlighted this move towards integrating blockchain in mainstream gaming. The new policy mandates developers to clearly indicate any blockchain-based elements within their apps on the Play Console when offering tokenized assets.

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