Korean Government Battling P2E Games

Under current law in South Korea, prizes earned from gaming must not exceed 10,000 Won (around $8.50) at a time.

The Game Management Committee (GMC) has requested that Apple and Google remove and block Play-to-Earn games from within their respective mobile app marketplaces, seeing them as speculative money-making schemes.

So, what’s the big deal, and why is South Korea pushing against Play-to-Earn games?

With Play-to-Earn games, most of the time you’re going to have to first purchase an NFT in order to play and receive rewards within the game. This purchase with the expectancy to make money through the game, paired with the existing law surrounding gaming prize limits, makes for a very wary South Korean government. Limiting these games within mobile app marketplaces is carried out through the denial of age-rating certification. No official age-rating, no listing. Simple as that.

However, game developers in South Korea have been facing battles in the courts to keep their Play-to-Earn games listed in domestic mobile app stores since April, with one of the central focuses being on this denial of age-rating certification.

The outcome of these cases will set precedents for P2E game developers within South Korea and may end up putting the GMC in a difficult position. In June, the team behind ‘Five Stars for Klaytn’ won an injunction after its game was initially blocked in domestic app stores because it lacked the official age-rating certification. The injunction outcome allowed the game to be listed on domestic app stores, however with the case still yet fully resolved, all eyes are on Five Stars as it could end up being the linchpin case to allow other P2E games such as ‘Infinite Breakthrough Three Kingdoms Reverse’ to also find themselves listed on domestic app stores.

Knee-jerk reactions from authority regarding cryptocurrencies and crypto-related industries is pretty common, and we’ve seen that given a bit of time and understanding, authorities are much more likely to regulate appropriately and incorporate crypto-related products and services within their digital economies.

Adoption and Acceptance are a waiting game. All you can do is try to educate and allow people to make their own decisions based on the facts. Lawmakers included.