While many extensions are great for enhancing your browsing experience, they can be a tacky business for people who aren't at least somewhat familiar with the inner workings of browsers. Google noticed an influx of fraudulent paid extensions in January this year, and the situation only got worse when lockdowns first started and some people tried spreading misinformation or profiting off the pandemic through any channel they could find. With that in mind, Google has now decided to scrap paid extensions altogether.
In an email to developers, Google writes that the change has been in effect since March 27, when the ban on new paid items was initially temporary. This deprecation is now official, and the ban on new paid extensions permanent. Starting December 1, free trials will be disabled by Google, and on February 1, 2021, all payments will be disabled. Developers then still have some time to export their customer data until the feature is fully shut down later in 2021.
Google recommends developers interested in offering paid extensions to use a third-party service from the "thriving ecosystem of payment providers offering a far more diverse set of features than a single provider could hope to." The company adds that "now that our developers have so many great options to choose from, we can comfortably sunset our own payments integration."
It looks like the migration process will be messy for developers relying on Google's payment service. The company writes that its tool doesn't support bulk export of existing user licenses, so developers and users have to work together to recreate who is eligible for a free new license. If you're interested in further information, check the source link below.