The constant fight between mobile gamers and ads is a story as old as time itself, or rather as old as mobile games. We’ve all been there, playing some hyper-casual game with gameplay that is extremely simplistic and couldn’t have taken more than a week to build in Unity but with surprisingly addictive gameplay. And it was quite fun until the ads started playing. Advertisements are the bane of players’ existence and well, it seems like Google is finally stepping in with new and stronger ad policies that any app on the Play Store will have to use.
Developers and publishers will have to follow the new Google Ad policies
Developers and publishers will now have to follow the given guidelines:
- Full-screen interstitial ads of all formats (video, GIF, static, etc.) that show unexpectedly, typically when the user has chosen to do something else, are not allowed.
- Ads that appear during gameplay at the beginning of a level or during the beginning of a content segment are not allowed.
- Full-screen video interstitial ads that appear before an app’s loading screen (splash screen) are not allowed.
- Full-screen interstitial ads of all formats that are not closeable after 15 seconds are not allowed. 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.
Game developers will have to abide by rules to ensure players a better gaming experience
All of this means that developers can’t trick players into watching a full-screen ad that they didn’t opt for. Ads can’t occupy space at the beginning of general content or play at the beginning of a level. Additionally, unless a player opts into an ad for reward-related reasons, full-screen ads cannot be longer than 15 seconds. Also now they can not interrupt any other action that a player is triggering in the game.
These policies will be effective from September 30, 2022, but even now, there are certain issues. The biggest one is implementation. Several apps that are on the Play Store, use ads for monetization, Google will certainly have to figure out how they’re going to make this work. These policies don’t eliminate annoying ads but they do certainly put some restrictions on how far developers can go with ads.