Play-to-earn (P2E) games where users trade their playing time for crypto revenue are the latest trend storm the crypto community, and the latest subject of a crackdown in South Korea. The Naver regional newswire was first to report that the South Korean authorities have asked Apple and Google to block these games ” national distribution.
The request came from South Korea’s Game Management Committee (GMC), an official arm of the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as part of South Korea’s ongoing attempts to implement new laws for App Store operators throughout the region. Authorities last announced that under these rules, Apple and Google must allow third party payment systems in their respective South Korean App Stores.
Local legislators allege the two companies haven’t done a great job of complying with this particular payment mandate since it was passed in August, and it’s unclear whether the law will have the impact South Korean officials imagine. Some of the best game developers in the country are getting started in P2E games at present, although often technically already illegal to distribute on South Korean soil.
As a GMC official Explain to CoinTelegraph, this is because some withdrawals offered by popular P2E titles exceed 10,000 South Korean won (around $ 8.40) per pop, which means they are technically qualified as “prizes” under current South Korean law. On this basis, the official continued, it is “reasonable” to prevent P2E games from obtaining the necessary age groups to be listed in the App Store, probably because doing so would give young people access to a irresponsible amount of volatile currency.
These pre-existing local laws, however, did not prevent P2E operators from distributing their games, which brings us to the GMC’s latest call to the App Store operators themselves.
Naver reports that the committee sent letters this week asking Apple and Google to prevent app developers from registering on stores without an existing age range, namely from the GMC. or through an internal filing operator. But if these games cannot be rated in the first place because of the high payouts they promise players, then, well.
The South Korean authorities have essentially put game developers in a corner where the only way to be listed is to offer users lower payouts, which appears to be a move that would bite gamers more than anyone else. But considering how this country is among the most strict rules when it comes to how citizens are allowed to earn bitcoin, it’s no surprise to see games and players come under fire as well.