Paytm First Games, the gaming arm of payment processor Paytm, made a comeback on Monday on the Google Play Store, almost three weeks after being banned.
This news comes after the Google Play Store banned the Paytm app and First Games on September 18, because it violated Google’s ‘gambling’ and ‘fantasy real-money gaming’ guidelines for app developers.
We do not allow casinos online or help any unregulated gambling applications that make sports betting easier. This implies a breach of our policy if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to compete in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes, ” Google said in a blog post last month, reiterating its guidelines before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
First Games continues to support fantasy cricket under its software definition. “Make your dream team, play fantasy cricket and win free cash from Paytm,” the summary of the app reads.
In addition, the app currently allows users to create a team for upcoming IPL matches on their website.
Earlier, it was reported that the ban on Paytm First Games may have been due to the efforts of the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS). According to individuals familiar with the discussions, the federation said that Google favoured some fantasy gaming apps, suggesting Paytm First Games.
Now, over the past week, the ‘autonomy’ that Google commands over the Indian start-up ecosystem has been actively lobbied and challenged by Indian start-up founders.
Google also improved its Play Store policies last week in a blog post, which allowed Android app developers to exploit the billing mechanism of the search major, and pay 30 percent in commissions to the search major for the sale of a digital product or service.
Softening its stance, Google on Monday said it would “set up listening sessions” to “understand their issues” with “leading Indian startups,” and also extended the time developers have to incorporate the Play Billing system into their apps until March 31, 2022.
The policies of Google are subjective and even more subjective is the application of those policies. Therefore, it appears to be ‘arbitrary’ to describe these policies that control India’s technology environment, and there is not even a court we can go to. Google is a pioneer of India’s technology firms, as 95 % of customers in India use Google’s Play Store, said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm, in an earlier interaction with Mint.
On Saturday, leaders of nearly two dozen start-ups spoke to Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), expressing their apprehension about Google’s growing dominance and influence over internet companies.
The founders cited numerous Google regulations, including the banning of fantasy sports from their app store, the pre-installation on Android phones of Google applications, and heavy Play Store billing commissions.
“The government is holistically looking at the problem. It’s not all about what they have to say about the few major startups. The government will have to see and determine what will benefit the ecosystem of start-ups. While the issues raised by the businesses might be a point of concern, the situation is not alarming,’ said a senior government official, requesting anonymity, about the meeting.