Apple’s Risky Play for NFT Revenue

Apple updated its app store guidelines this week to include new taxes on NFTs and promoted social media posts. While the NFT craze has died down in recent years, these new rules could be the final nail in the coffin for NFTs on iOS. But will they backfire?

What are NFTs?
In the context of video games, NFTs are unique digital assets that are stored on the blockchain. They can range from simple cosmetics to more substantial gameplay features such as in-game real estate.

New Rules

  • The company will receive 30% of any in-app NFT sales
    • Viewing owned NFTs is still free as long as “ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app”
  • The company will receive a 30% tax on revenue from social media post “boosts”
    • Only applies to campaigns purchased in-app
Apple’s Risky Gamble
In the near-term, Apple’s new taxes will have a chilling effect for iOS. Game developers interested in NFTs now have a glaring reason to opt for Android. (For what it's worth, NFTs have not caught on with most devs.) The new tax on social media boosts will be far more controversial; it primarily impacts bigger players like Meta, Tinder or TikTok, as well anyone trying to promote games or gaming hardware. 
Long term, however, Apple is playing with fire. It’s already embroiled in an antitrust legal battle with Epic Games over restrictive app store policies, and these will only add fuel to the fire.

Featured image: Apple