South Korea reportedly asked Apple and Google to remove winning games from app stores

South Korean fans of video games using the play-to-earn (P2E) model may soon find it difficult to play their favorite titles. The government’s Game Management Committee (GMC) has reportedly asked major digital stores, such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, to remove games that fall into this category.

A report on Naver said the GMC sent a letter to Apple and Google asking them not to provide rating classifications for new P2E games, essentially banning their release in the country. Under South Korea’s Gaming Industry Promotion Act, developers and publishers are required to obtain a rating ranking to release games in the country. All games, except titles over the age of 18, may be rated for their rating by the government Game Content Rating Board (GRCB) or by an independent business rating entity like the App Store and Play Store.

By asking Apple and Google to refrain from giving rating classifications for new P2E games, South Korea is effectively banning their release. The agency has also reportedly asked Apple and Google to remove P2E games currently available on their platforms.

The growing popularity of cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) over the past year has also paved the way for the rise of P2E titles, like “Axie Infinity” and “Splinterlands,” around the world. These are commonly referred to as NFT games because they require players to purchase in-game items, which are usually NFTs, in order to participate.

NFTs are digital assets with unique characteristics that can be traded using cryptocurrencies and whose properties are recorded in the blockchain. In “Axie Infinity”, Axies are NFTs, and players will need to purchase three before they can join the game. The in-game economy uses and rewards players with Axie Infinity Shard and Smooth Love Potion, both of which are cryptocurrencies based on the Ethereum blockchain.

It is this very nature of P2E games that South Korean company GMC takes issue with. “It is reasonable to prevent P2E games from getting an age rating under current law, as in-game cash rewards can be considered prizes,” a GMC official said (via CoinTelegraph) Tuesday.

About Cedric Lloyd

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