The South Korean government took action to prevent the release of new games for money (P2E) and demanded that existing games be removed from Google Play and the Apple App Store.
P2E games are becoming popular in the cryptocurrency industry. Usually, players must first purchase game tokens as non-fungible tokens (NFT) in order to play the game and receive in-game rewards. However, in South Korea, game prizes of more than a few dollars are prohibited.
The Game Management Committee (GMC) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Monday asked major mobile app markets to ban all games that require in-app purchases before playing.
To combat the proliferation of what it considers speculative money-making schemes, GMC has made it nearly impossible for P2E game developers to list their businesses on the most popular mobile app stores.
While the government’s attempt to curb the growth of P2E games by directly entering app markets is a new development, South Korean game developers have been facing legal action since April by offering P2E games for sale in local app stores. The main problem is that some game apps do not reach the minimum age required to be placed in app stores.
A GMC spokesman said the committee is only following the Supreme Court’s precedent for banning age restrictions and listing P2E games. In a statement on Tuesday, the official said:
“In accordance with applicable law, it is reasonable to prevent P2E games from reaching age limits, as in-game monetary awards may count as prizes.”
Prizes earned from games in South Korea cannot exceed KRW 10,000 (US $ 8.42) at a time.
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Fivestars for Klaytn P2E and NFT Marketplace were initially banned from local app stores due to lack of ratings, but the team behind the game won the injunction in June and the game was listed. The final decision on the game’s legal status is expected to set legal precedent for other P2E games such as Infinite Breakthrough Three Kingdoms Reverse.
David Sheen, Head of Global Implementation at Klaytn, told Cointelegraph why he thinks the organizers are taking a tough stance on P2E games:
“Earnings games and cryptocurrency in general are causing concern due to the foam in the market caused by speculative activity. But once the foam settles, governments around the world may be more receptive to regulating Web 3.0 as a permanent part of the digital economy. ”
The GMC stance has negative implications for all P2E gaming applications, including the suite of applications associated with two of the most popular games to date, according to DappRadar: Axie Infinity and Splinterlands.