South Korea tells Apple and Google stores to take down P2E games

South Korean government is openly against the P2E games.
The government’s stance on play-to-earn games is clear.

The South Korean government has moved to block the release of new play-to-earn (P2E) games and requested that existing ones be removed from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

The interest in play-to-earn games is increasing on what seems like a logarithmic scale. Despite that, the South Korean government has blocked the release of new play-to-earn games and asked for the removal of existing play-to-earn games from the App Store and Google Play.

Crypto mania is here and it’s real: The hype surrounding the intersection of blockchain and the game industry seems like a gateway to a whole new universe but since it’s still considered uncharted territory, there also exist many concerns. The South Korean government has shown the world that they will be taking more cautionary steps in that regard.

The Game Management Committee (GMC) in the Ministry of Culture, Spurts, and Tourism has requested mainstream app stores to block the games that require in-app purchases beforehand. Regarding their agenda, gaming prizes over a few dollars are also banned in South Korea and it’s the main incentive for many players to play NFT games.

For being considered as controversial and speculative schemes of money-making, GMC has cut all play-to-earn games from their market. It’s not the first measure that the government has taken, since April 2021, NFT game developers have been waging on-court battles to keep their play-to-earn games in local app stores. The problem for many of those developers is obtaining an age rating to get listed on those app stores. This was the main defensive strategy of the Korean government until recently.

An official from the GMC stated that the commission is only following Supreme Court precedent in blocking play-to-earn games from getting age ratings and being listed. The official said in a statement:

“It is reasonable to keep play-to-earn games from getting age ratings under the current law because cash rewards in games can be considered prizes.”

Any prize earned from gaming in South Korea cannot exceed 10,000 Korean won ($8.42) at a time.

The Fivestars for Klaytn play-to-earn game and NFT marketplace were initially blocked in domestic app stores due to a lack of a rating, but in June, the game’s creators won the injunction, and the game was listed. The game’s legal standing is expected to set a legal precedent for other play-to-earn games, such as Infinite Breakthrough Three Kingdoms Reverse, once a final decision is made.

David Shin, head of global adoption at the Klaytn Foundation, talked Cointelegraph about the Korean restrictions about NFT games:

“Play-to-earn games and crypto, in general, are viewed with apprehension due to the froth in the market that’s fueled by speculative activity. But once that froth subsides, authorities all over the world may be more amenable to regulating Web 3.0 as a permanent feature of the digital economy.”

David Shin

The GMC is not giving any edge to any of the play-to-earn apps, they are against any NFT games that are trying to penetrate the South Korean market.

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