2 min read

Luck be a Landlord is now banned in 13 countries on the Google Play Store

Luck be a Landlord is now banned in 13 countries on the Google Play Store

I'm sorry if the following post comes off as a bit angry. I'm writing this off the cuff and am very aggravated by the situation.

Today I received an email from Google Play Support stating that Luck be a Landlord has been geo-blocked in the following countries: United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Iran, Jordan, South Korea, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

According to Google, the app "contains content that doesn't comply with the Gambling policy."

It should go without saying that I 100% disagree with this decision. Luck be a Landlord does not violate any gambling policy that Google has in their terms of service.

The e-mail states that "Apps that simulate gambling, or games of chance or skill that are conducive to gambling are prohibited in the above locales."

By that logic, you could argue any game with an element of chance or luck violates Google's Gambling policy.

Jetpack Joyride, a game with a literal slot-machine mechanic, is rated E10+ and isn't geo-blocked. Dicey Dungeons, a game with themes of luck and rolling dice, isn't geo-blocked. A literal clone of my game, which raised $6,000,000 in venture capital, is somehow rated "E for Everyone" and isn't geo-blocked, despite literally having a battle pass and random-chance micro-transactions. Don't even get me started on how loot boxes are allowed (and encouraged) on these platforms!

It should go without saying that I don't think these other apps should be geo-blocked. I'm saying it's very easy to see that my game is getting unfair treatment.

I have brought this up to Google and they were dismissive of my reasoning, refusing to do anything.

I am exploring options of how to get this fixed but I am extremely upset that Google has made this ridiculous decision and that players in the aforementioned countries will be unable to download the game on the Google Play Store.

My apologies for those inconvenienced by this who were interested in playing Luck be a Landlord. The Steam version and iOS version of the game remain up without any issue at the time of me writing this.