Korean Government Blocks Apple and Google Stores from Releasing New P2E Games

The South Korean Games Management Committee on Tuesday asked Google and Apple stores to take down play-to-earn games.
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Quick Take:

  • The Korean Games Committee has told Google and Apple stores to take down P2E games.
  • The committee said P2E games should not receive an age rating needed to get listed on the app store and play store.
  • The Games Management Committee also requested that existing ones be removed from those marketplaces.

The Korean government has asked Google and Apple stores to remove play-2-earn (P2E) games from the marketplaces in line with its stance of banning gaming prizes of over a few dollars. In blockchain gaming, gamers are required to initially purchase non-fungible tokens that allow them to play the game, in return, earning game rewards.

The gaming regulator also requested the existing P2E games be removed from the play and apps stores, halting the progress of metaverse gaming in the country.

The Game Management Committee (GMC) in the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism wants major mobile app marketplaces to block any gaming platforms that require gamers to make in-app purchases before playing the game.

The GMC thinks that the requirement to make in-app purchases in order to start playing the game may be a ploy to run speculative money-making schemes. The committee is resilient to make it all, but impossible for P2E games to make their way into popular mobile app marketplaces.

However, this is not the first time game developers are finding themselves at loggerheads against the Korean government. They have been facing court battles since April in an attempt to offer their P2E games on domestic app stores.

A GMC official said the committee was only following the Supreme Court ruling of preventing P2E games from being age-rated and listed on app stores. The Korean gaming law requires that prizes earned from gaming cannot exceed 10,000 KRW ($8.42) at a time.

“It is reasonable to keep P2E games from getting age ratings under the current law because cash rewards in games can be considered prizes,” the official said in a statement.

Although play-to-earn gaming has become a popular phenomenon in the crypto space, some sections of the industry are yet to embrace it. David Shin, Head of Global Adoption at Klaytn Foundation things could change in time with governments becoming more flexible with their regulations around blockchain gaming and crypto.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Shin said, “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.”

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