South Korea: Authorities approach Apple and Google to block all P2E games
December 29th, 2021
The South Korean government has continued its efforts to secure the position as the leading crypto regulator across the globe. This time around, the authorities have targeted the NFT phenomenon of P2E games. The nation’s Game Management Committee (GMC) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism recently approached mobile app store giants, Apple and Google to block any games that possess a prerequisite of making in-app purchases prior to playing the game.
According to local news, South Korea’s regulators has levied P2E games as malicious schemes aimed to extract more money out of people. Therefore, with the latest order from the GMC, it will now become impossible for P2E games to get listed on major app stores. While the authorities have not used the word ‘ban’ for P2E games, their actions determined the intent.
P2E games vs GMC
This was not the first time that the South Korean authorities launched a crackdown on P2E games. The GMC was already in an ongoing battle with P2E game organizations over the ‘age-ratings’ fiasco. While the GMC required these NFT games to seek age ratings from the committee itself, but the P2E game companies were consecutively launching new games in the domestic market using the self-rating system.
“It is reasonable to keep P2E games from getting age ratings under the current law because cash rewards in games can be considered prizes.”, said a government official on the matter of blocking P2E games, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision.
The self-rating system was derived through an in-house grading service provider, i.e., by using an in-house service provider for the release allowed the game companies to rate themselves. However, the Game Commission prohibited distribution of P2E games across the nation, referring to the provisions of the Game Industry Promotion Act ‘ban on prizes’ and used its own rating service provider to block the games. This has led to further friction between the authorities and the P2E industry, where the gaming companies continue to take GMC to the court.
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