The company will still take a 12% cut on these transactions, although
Recent legislation around the world has forced Google to loosen its historical grip on Play Store billing, which may or may not be related to the many revelations the Epic Games lawsuit gave us last year. In South Korea, Google rolled out a way to use alternative billing methods in response to recently enacted local laws, which were being tested in other regions in conjunction with Spotify. Now the company is following suit and offering European users a way to use other non-Google billing methods. As with South Korea, there are a few pitfalls that developers and users should be aware of.
According Google, non-game app developers will be able to use non-Google billing methods on their apps. It’s not yet clear how this will compare to South Korea’s approach, but if it’s similar, we could see Google Play billing offered alongside an alternative app payment method. Game transactions typically take a 15% cut for Google, and developers using alternative billing methods in the European Economic Area won’t be spared. It’s reduced to 12% from 15%, but it’s still a noticeable drop in developer revenue.
This measure comes in response to new legislation enacted by the European Union called the Digital Markets Act. Notably, this program won’t apply to games just yet, but Google says it plans to bring billing alternatives to game developers long before the DMA takes effect. This should come six months after the law is signed by the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Council. At present, the European Parliament has just approved it. There is no timeline for when you can expect to see apps with other billing methods on the Play Store in Europe.