- The South Korean gaming regulator has ordered Google and Apple to withdraw blockchain – based games to make money – this’s why.
- These games go against local gaming regulations by offering NFTs and collectible cryptocurrencies, the watchdog says.
Blockchain-based games are becoming a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide and gaining new users every day. None of these users, however, are from South Korea. The Asian country’s gaming regulator has asked Apple and Google to remove these «play to win» games from their app stores, because they violate the country’s gaming regulations.
South Korea is a large cryptocurrency market, even one of the largest in the world. Blockchain technology has also found a high level of adoption in the country. However, in games to win money the Gaming Management Committee (GMC) is setting the limit.
The GMC contacted Google and Apple, whose Play Store and App Store are the two largest app stores in the world, and asked them to remove these games, local Naver reports. It is also aimed at small app distributors with similar instructions.
The regulator, however, wanted to clarify that it is not opposed to blockchain games. It’s more about that these games allow users to win cryptocurrencies, which they can then exchange for fiat money. This amounts to winning prizes while playing the game, and South Korea is very strict about it. The country’s gaming laws limit the maximum amount that can be won to 10,000 Korean winners ($ 8.42) under their Gaming Industry Promotion Law.
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«Speculative games to win money»
South Korean watch industry has indicated that it is watching the gaming market and has seen a boom in the popularity of blockchain games. In addition to the usual global platforms like Axie Infinity, local companies are also diving into the sector.
In 2021, six of the top ten performance stocks in the country were associated with blockchain games, including WeMade, the company behind the popular blockchain game MIR4.
Describing them as «money-making speculative games,» the governor said:
It is reasonable to prevent P2E games from receiving age ratings under current law as cash rewards from games can be considered as prizes.
It’s not easy to explain why South Korea is so picky about gaming restrictions not to mention the Sea Story scenario, which happened 15 years ago. Sea Story was a slot machine-like video game that became popular in the mid-2000s in Korea. Instead of cash, it rewarded users with gift certificates that were not banned at the time.
However, cash centers soon came close to Sea Story arcades where gift vouchers were exchanged for cash. Local gangs took part and many died, many by suicide.
That is why the GMC is against games for money. However, the head of the GMC clarified that it is not against blockchain games, only rewards.
It is a mistake to think that the gaming commission is blocking new technologies such as blockchain and NFTs. The promotion law of the gaming industry, unlike other laws for the promotion of culture, is established to prevent speculation.