New Delhi: Homegrown social gaming platform WinZO Games on Tuesday said it has challenged Google’s recent policy in the Delhi High Court to selectively include only Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Rummy games on its Play Store, leaving out several platforms for skills and local developers. . Google will allow limited fantasy sports, rummy games in the Play Store as part of a pilot project.
WinZO asked the court to restrain Google from implementing “arbitrary classification that would affect the reputation of its business.” WinZO is among industry players such as the Mobile Premier League (MPL) and Zupee who have called the policy arbitrary, unfair and restrictive.
Saumya Singh Rathore, co-founder of WinZO Games, told IANS that there is no estimate of the impact that could result from such a clearly discriminatory and arbitrary classification by Google Play.
“We don’t understand how Google allows you to choose that only DFS and Rummy will be included in the set of legal/legitimate businesses, while other Skill Games will be excluded,” he stressed.
Google has yet to reach the WinZO lawsuit. Google is set to launch a pilot test for local developers to distribute its daily fantasy sports (DFS) and rummy apps on the Play Store in India as eSports grows in popularity in the country.
Starting September 28, the Play Store will begin a time-limited pilot to allow distribution of DFS and Rummy apps to users in India by developers registered in India. The pilot program will run from September 28, 2022 to September 28, 2023.
According to WinZO’s lawsuit, Google’s policy will not only reduce the marketing cost to Monopoly players to one-fourth of their cost, but will also create a false perception of legitimacy for DFS and Rummy over all other games like Carrom, Chess, Quiz, etc.
“Google’s policies may distort the competitive Indian gaming ecosystem, resulting in unprecedented access to the 2.5 billion monthly active users in the 190 countries where the Google Play Store is available,” the lawsuit said.
Google Play Store is the largest app distribution platform with 97 percent market share in India.
Samir Barde, CEO of the E-Gaming Federation, said Google’s move “helps legitimate gaming operators develop their skills while weeding out unscrupulous rogue operators”, almost implying that the companies excluded from the pilot project are not legitimized .
Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) CEO Joy Bhattacharya said the Google Play Store allows games that are “recognized by the Supreme Court of India as ordinary commercial activities”. In the case of KR Lakshmanan v. State of Tamil Nadu (which most Rummy companies cite for legality), the Supreme Court recognized Rummy as a game of skill and drew an analogy with other games of skill such as chess and golf.
“The year-long pilot is harming thousands of companies and could lead to irreversible market distortions in the fast-growing gaming technology industry, killing many players as the strong get stronger,” Rathore told IANS.
WinZO is seeking an injunction preventing Google from implementing the revised Playstore policy, as well as an order that Google must change its policy to allow all apps that offer skill games on the Play Store, not just a select few. WinZO is available in 12 languages with over 85 million registered users.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on 20 September 2022 at 14:40 IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, visit our website Latestly.com).