In a move set to impact the cryptocurrency advertising landscape, Google, the world’s leading search engine and technology powerhouse, has revealed plans to revise its cryptocurrency advertisement policy in September 2023. The primary focus of this amendment is to outline the guidelines and prerequisites for advertising blockchain-based games featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
While an initial update was rolled out in August 2023, Google is gearing up to introduce further modifications next month. These adjustments are expected to chart a clearer course for blockchain game creators and advertisers, particularly those reliant on NFTs as incentives or integral components of their game economics.
The NFT realm has become pivotal in the ever-expanding blockchain and crypto ecosystem. Though NFTs debuted in early 2018 with CryptoKitties, they didn’t begin to extend beyond art until late 2020 and early 2021.
NFTs have found substantial utility in gaming, where developers aspire to decentralize ownership by enabling players to possess specific in-game assets. Unlike fungible tokens, NFTs exhibit traits similar to traditional currencies like Ethereum (ETH) yet remain non-interchangeable. Furthermore, their transactions are executed with utmost security and transparency.
As a result of these distinctive attributes, NFTs have been seamlessly integrated into many games, fostering interoperability, stimulating player-centric economies, and sometimes allowing users to convert their virtual possessions into tangible value.
The adoption of NFTs has significantly contributed to establishing the authenticity and scarcity of in-game items, enhancing engagement within the gaming community, and even presenting lucrative opportunities for gamers and collectors as NFT technology infiltrates new gaming experiences. Consequently, the decentralized nature of NFTs is emerging as a pivotal driving force behind the evolution of blockchain gaming, inspiring developers to craft more captivating and interactive games.
However, with their expanding range of applications, Google is keen to implement stringent safeguards against potential misuse. Under its forthcoming update, Google will permit game developers and marketing agencies to advertise on its network, provided the promoted NFT game doesn’t endorse gambling-related content.
Google’s guidelines specify that acceptable games may allow players to purchase in-game assets, such as characters or skins, to enhance their gaming experience or advance through levels. Conversely, Google explicitly disallows ads for blockchain games that encourage social casino activities rewarding NFTs, those directing users to real-money gambling platforms, or any games permitting users to stake NFTs in hopes of winning real-world value. This prohibition extends to NFT games offering in-game rewards convertible into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).
Google’s move to tighten its advertising policies reflects the industry’s evolving dynamics and the need to balance innovation and responsible promotion within the burgeoning NFT and blockchain gaming sector. With these upcoming changes, stakeholders in the space will need to navigate a more defined regulatory landscape while continuing to explore the boundless possibilities offered by NFT technology.