New Google ad policies to impact hyper casual games

Published on:

Google has announced important changes to its advertisement policy to improve the user experience on mobile apps and games. The new policy update was announced on July 27 and it’s mainly addressing intrusive ads —which hyper-casual games often take benefit of.

The policy is effective from 30 September 2022 and all new and existing apps will receive a grace period of at least 30 days from July 27, 2022 (unless otherwise stated) to comply. The changes help ensure “high quality experiences for users when they are using Google Play apps,” said Google.

According to the official Google post, the following ads won’t be allowed on the platform anymore:

  • Full-screen intrusive ads that show suddenly, regardless of their formats (video, GIF, static, etc.)
  • Ads that show up during gameplay at the start of a level or during the beginning of a content segment
  • Full-screen video interstitial ads that appear before an app’s loading screen (splash screen)
  • Full-screen interstitial ads of all formats that are not closeable after 15 seconds (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.

Google also suggested that it does not allow impersonation and warned developers to be careful not to use app icons, descriptions, titles, or in-app elements that could mislead users about your app’s relationship to someone else or another app. The impersonation guidelines are effective from August 31.

Google’s also making changes to how apps can implement and use Android’s built-in VPN (or virtual private network) tools. Apps won’t be allowed to implement their own VPNs to collect user data unless they get explicit permission from the user, nor will they be able to use VPNs to help users bypass or change ads from other apps. This policy is effective from 1 November.

Further, developers will be required to link to an “easy-to-use, online method” for cancelling subscriptions in their app if their app sells subscriptions with linking to Google Play’s subscription center as one mode for an easy-to-use option. Google is also cracking down on health misinformation, adding a section that says apps can’t contain misleading information about vaccines, unapproved treatments, or “other harmful health practices, such as conversion therapy.