According to a report from Reuters, Google Inc. may be pressuring Android game and app developers to adopt an in-house payment system in the place of third-party alternatives like PayPal, Boku, and Zong.
The in-house system, named “Google Wallet,” would be utilized across the Android Market (now called Google Play). Some developers reportedly received notes from Google as far back as August informing them that using a third-party method of payment is a breach of Google’s terms and conditions.
“If we had a choice, the freedom to choose which billing service, then that’s even better. But if we have to follow the rules, we will. I want to maintain a very good relationship with Google. We are very collaborative. It’s very important to the business.”
Obviously, Google Wallet brings the sale and development of Android games a more unified process that’s not unlike the App Store, or Facebook. Moreover, Google will supposedly receive a 30% cut from each transaction, which is also in line with what the proprietors of its competing platforms take from developers as a fee.
On the flipside, Gamesindustry.biz writer Dan Pearson points out that the Android platform has long suffered from fragmentation issues, and that a unified payment system is one way to combat the problem. “By offering a familiar, single cashing point, Google hopes to lower friction and increase trust, thereby increasing user spend,” Pearson writes.
Google has yet to confirm a switch to Google Wallet. A spokesperson for the company told Reuters that its policy has not changed, and that there is a clause in its Android developers agreement stating that developers who charge for an app or a game must do so through an authorized payment system. The spokesperson declined to comment when asked if Google has been enforcing these policies more carefully over the past few months.