You CAN sell NFTs on the Apple App Store. And Apple WILL take its 30% cut
Apple has released its updated app guidelines which address the increasing use of NFTs and crypto, controversy has risen due to tighter regulations with many Web3 developers and industry commentators not being happy with Apple’s decision.
The new guidelines state that “Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as licence keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets, etc.” It does however state that “Apps may use in-app purchase to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens, such as minting, listing, and transferring. Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app.”
To simplify, part of the controversy surrounding these guidelines is that while the app store will allow the sales of NFTs it has to be done through in-app purchases which means that Apple gets a 30% cut. The guidelines are also stating that games that link added functionality or content to NFT ownership will not be approved. Technically NFT sales have the green light but it comes at a cost – literally- and also results in restrictions for the types of NFTs that can be offered.
Web3 developers are not impressed
The new guidance has seen many Web3 developers come forward to voice their concerns. Oxalis Games CEO Ric Moore commented saying, “Apple have effectively banned NFTs from games. [The new guidelines imply that] any NFT that ‘unlocks’ gameplay is not allowed. Like if you had a Spiderman card (NFT) that lets you ‘unlock’ and play as Spiderman in some Marvel fighting game; that’s not allowed, but you are allowed to look at how pretty the card is in your library”.
Metanomic CEO Theo Priestley also shared some thoughts on the news stating that “Apple has updated their NFT policy for the App Store, prohibiting NFTs as a means to bypass Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. They support NFTs and web3 where they can tax it, and won’t support it where they can’t – so token gating via iOS is out the window and making any money from NFTs or selling digital assets via Apple nets barely anything over time”.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Apple’s 30% cut has raised concern among app developers, with many already stating that Apple’s fee is too high and anti-competitive. Apple however has argued that its app store has given many developers a safe ecosystem in which they are able to make money.