30 September 2020
European Union (EU) has officially announced a new set of rules that app stores like Apple's App Store and Google Play Store will need to follow. These new rules are meant to bring more transparency to app developers and game publishers when dealing with these stores in Europe. One of the important additions is that stores will have to notify devs upfront before making changes to terms and conditions.
Application stores are notorious for making abrupt changes which eventually affect uninformed devs. Many times, such changes lead to apps/games getting banned from the store which is undoubtedly the worst thing that can happen to a developer. The new EU rules require app stores to notify devs at least 30 days in advance before removing an app. They will also need to provide an explanation for the decision in the notification.
All the app store rankings will also need to be more transparent. They will need to offer more transparent guidelines related to the store ranking algorithm. If a store follows any practice that offers preferential treatment to bigger developers and publishers, they will need to be upfront about that as well.
These new rules are applicable in all the countries that come under the European Union. It means app stores will be free to continue doing what they have been doing so far in other regions. But maybe, regulatory authorities of other countries and regions will follow the path after seeing these new decisions from EU.