Crypto Games: South Korea tells Apple and Google to stop

South Korea was never a fan of play-to-earn (P2E). It is now asking global app stores like Google Play and Apple App Store to block local distribution.

The issue, however, is not that the games are blockchain-based, as first reported by a local media outlet called Naver.

Rather, they object to the P2E model’s ability to earn cryptocurrency that can be exchanged for fiat money. The Game Industry Promotion Act limits the value of ‘prizes’ to 10,000 Korean Won (approximately $8.42).

It has also requested that all major app distributors prohibit domestic distribution of blockchain-based games, according to Naver.
As the gaming industry in South Korea tightens, game developers are expected to work harder to keep the system open.

Apple and Google asked to axe crypto ‘money-making’ games by South Korea

South Korea’s best-performing stocks are those of Crypto games company that make cryptocurrency bets.

P2E includes blockchain-based games that compensate players for their in-game actions, frequently using cryptocurrency. These games also use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to sell in-game items, virtual real estate, and more. By forbidding Google and Apple from hosting such games in their stores, the Korean government could effectively halt their spread.

Six of South Korea’s ten best-performing stocks this year connected to the metaverse or non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This includes WeMade, the gaming company behind the P2E game MIR4, which owes its revival in 2021 to cryptocurrency.

Crypto Games ‘Money-making speculations’

The GMC dubbed P2E games “speculative money-making games” and expressed concern that the trend has gained traction recently.

In order to distribute non-crypto games in South Korea, they must obtain an age rating from the GMC. They can, however, rate themselves if they distributed through other app stores, such as those established by Apple and Google.

South Korea, on the other hand, has a rule that gaming prizes cannot exceed 10,000 Korean Won, whicheasily exceeded by cryptocurrency rewards. For example, 1 ETH currently worth over 4 million Korean Won.

“It is reasonable to exempt P2E games from age rating under current law, as cash rewards in games considered prizes,” the GMC stated on December 28.

The metaverse is exploding with activity.

To be clear, the GMC is correct in asserting that P2E games have grown in popularity in recent years. Axie Infinity, Decentraland, and others have amassed billions of dollars in trades and have millions of players globally. According to blockchain tracking firm DappRadar, Axie Infinity has generated over $3.81 billion in lifetime trading volumes since its launch in 2018. Its $563 million in 30-day trading volumes demonstrates how popular the game and the P2E segment have become.

To be clear, the GMC is not prohibiting the use of blockchain technology in general. It is only prohibiting those who employ the P2E model. Kim Gyu-cheol, the GMC’s chairman, clarified the same point in November during a video game trade show. “It is a myth that the game committee opposes new technologies such as blockchain and non-volatile memory. Unlike other laws promoting culture, the game industry promotion act is intended to prevent speculation,” he said, according to a Forkfast report.

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