On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, locally developed vernacular social gaming console WinZO Games announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Google in the Delhi High Court challenging the company’s recent policy of only including daily fantasy sports (DFS) & rummy games on its Playstore, leaving out a number of skill gaming platforms and regional developers.
In order to prevent Google from enforcing the “arbitrary categorization which will affect the reputation of its business,” WinZO has asked the court to issue a restraining order.
Players in the business, like WinZO, the Mobile Premier League (MPL), and Zupee, have criticized the rules as being arbitrary, unfair, and constrictive.
According to Saumya Singh Rathore, co-founder of WinZO Games, there has been no assessment of the effects expected to be brought about by Google Play’s blatantly biased and arbitrary classification. He further said that we are unsure how Google can decide that only DFS and Rummy will be included while other skill gaming would be excluded.
Regarding the WinZO case, Google has not yet responded.
In India, where e-sports are becoming increasingly popular, Google plans to launch a pilot program to allow local developers to distribute its daily fantasy sports (DFS) & rummy game apps on the Playstore.
Starting on September 28, Google Playstore has launched a short-term pilot program allowing developers with Indian incorporation to distribute Fantasy and Rummy applications to users in India. From September 28, 2022, to September 28, 2023, the pilot project will be in effect.
According to the WinZO complaint, the Google policy will not only cut the marketing expenses for Monopoly players in half, but it will also give the impression that DFS and Rummy are more legitimate than other games like Carrom, Chess, and Quiz.
By giving Google Playstore users accessibility to the 2.5 billion monthly visitors across 190 countries, the lawsuit claimed that Google’s approach could “lead to inefficiencies in the dynamic Indian gaming industry.”
The decision by Google “helps legitimate skill playing games providers flourish while eliminating unethical fly-by-night operators,” according to Sameer Barde, Chief executive officer (CEO) of E-Gaming Federation, nearly indicating that businesses excluded within pilot are not legitimate.
Joy Bhattacharya, the director general of the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), claimed that Google Playstore now permits games that have been “approved by the Supreme Court (SC) of India as ordinary business activities.”
In the K.R. Lakshmanan v. State of Tamil Nadu case, which most rummy companies use as proof of its legality, the Supreme Court implied that rummy was a game of skill and made an explicit comparison between chess and golf.
Rathore told IANS that the year-long trial “is bad for thousands of businesses and can result in irreversible market distortion in a fast-moving gaming technology sector, leading to the death of numerous participants as the strong get stronger.”
WinZO is asking for an injunction to prevent Google from enforcing its modified Playstore policy as well as a decision that Google must modify its policy that allows all applications that offer games of skill to be available on its Playstore rather than just a small number of them.
Through over 85 thousand registered users, WinZO is accessible in 12 different languages.