Google Play’s new policy update can hurt hyper-casual games

The new policy update will address intrusive ads, alarms, VPNs and impersonation of brands and other apps.
Hands holding a phone, playing a hypercasual game with Google Play logo in the background

Google is making important changes to its advertisement policy to improve the user experience on mobile apps and games. The new policy update was announced on July 27 and it’s mainly addressing intrusive ads —which hyper-casual games take benefit of— alongside impersonation of other companies or apps, misuse of exact alarm permission, and VPN services.

The blog post says both new and existing apps will be given a period of at least 30 days to comply with the new policy update. The tech giant wants to make sure users have a high-quality experience when they’re playing a game or using an app they’ve downloaded via Google Play. The changes coming within the next 30 days or so will affect a high number of hyper-casual games, considering how the genre relies on intrusive ads to bring in money.

According to the official Google post, the following ads won’t be allowed on the platform anymore:

  • Full-screen intrusive ads that show suddenly, regardless of their formats (video, GIF, static, etc.)
  • Ads that show up during gameplay at the start of a level or during the beginning of a content segment
  • Full-screen video interstitial ads that appear before an app’s loading screen (splash screen)
  • Full-screen interstitial ads of all formats that are not closeable after 15 seconds (Opt-in full-screen interstitials or full-screen interstitials that do not interrupt users in their actions (for example, after the score screen in a game app) may persist more than 15 seconds.

Google shared the examples below for common violations:

There are other betterments on the way as well. For instance, Google will work actively to exterminate copycat apps, ban apps that contain misleading health claims and contradict existing medical consensus, and a few more others.

Google has been actively working to improve its relationship with app developers as well. The search engine company reduced its service fee and it’s allowing devs to use different payment methods as of July 2022. The big tech firm also created a $90 million fund to settle with US-based developers.

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