The Fintech Company which owns Paytm on Wednesday in a blog post said that Paytm First Games; the fantasy gaming app of Paytm was relisted on Google Play Store after three weeks long exclusion from the store.
Google had earlier black-marked the game for its policy violation. But Paytm Games had reconstructed their promotion strategies to get the sanction back.
According to their policy guidelines, Google never allowed any kind cash-based fantasy gaming apps and promotion of such apps on their App Store. Even the top leading fantasy money-based apps like Dream 11 were not given a spot in Google App Store platform.
Before the kick-off of the Indian Premier League, the US technology giants made clear that they would tighten their policy and would never encourage the promotion of any kind of money gambling apps on their Play Store. They aimed to capture public interest and provide their users with a safe and secure environment.
At that time, Paytm has also raised some questions against Google for its strict and tightly packed policies. Even if some of the queries were reasonable, till press time on Wednesday, Google didn’t respond to any of the emails sent by ET. Paytm accused the Google in manifesting “menacing” and “extrajudicial monopolistic powers” for explicating policies for their sole commercial benefit and expelling their apps based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
Concerning the paid ads on Google sharing platforms and Google search, Paytm First Games said in the official blog post that, Google doesn’t allow them to promote their “Pro” apps on their free apps or Paytm and they have the only option to promote it on Google by paying a heavy payment to them. Paytm expressed their total disagreement with Google on this matter.
Being sarcastic they pointed out that promotion of Paytm First Games on Paytm is considered a violation of Google policies. Meanwhile, if they promote the same ads through YouTube or Google Search by paying a sturdy advertisement fee; in this case, they don’t consider the matter going against their community rules and policy violations. With no objections, Google gives a green signal. They would also consider these ads healthy for their customers and users. They also pointed out the fact that fantasy gaming apps are still legal in most states of India.
The pro version of Paytm First Game App is not available on Google Play Store and they are accessible only on their official website. The Paytm First Game which is available on Play Store is formulated as a non-money involving gaming platform.
In India, almost every state allows the use of such fantasy gaming apps and even the government does not restrict the use of such apps in any form. The use of fantasy gaming apps is restricted only in some exceptional states which include Telangana, Odisha, Assam and Andhra Pradesh.
On 18th September, both Paytm First Games and Paytm was taken down and removed from Google Play Store by the Google stating an infringement in their gambling policy which averts the promotions of any cash-based fantasy games by any registered store apps and that’s where the real tussle started.
Google restored Paytm the same day after they fulfilled and tallied some requirements to fit with the policies of Google Play Store. But Paytm First Games had to wait another three weeks to get restored and relist back to the Google Play Store.
According to Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the delisting of Paytm apps has caused a commotion among the startup ecosystem and he accused Google of being biased in their policies.
With effect from April 2020, Google plans to administer and impose a 30% commission on apps selling digital goods. Currently, there is a strong protest by Indian app ecosystem against this enforcement. The set of events happening now will only help in getting the scenario worse.