The Google Playstore and Apple’s Appstore will also block the release of new Play to Earn games.

South Korea is cracking down on Play to Earn games (P2E) and has asked Apple and Google to block existing P2E games and future releases on their respective app stores.

Play to earn games usually involve users playing games to earn cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). This model allows players to gain ownership of in-game assets. They also have the opportunity to earn cryptocurrencies by spending more time in the games. However, gamers often have to purchase game pieces as NFTs in order to start playing.

South Korea requests App Marketplaces to block P2E Games

The Game Management Committee (GMC) in the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has requested Apple and Google to remove any game that requires in-app purchases before playing the game. This makes it near-impossible for P2E games to list on App Store and Google’s Play store in their existing format.

Play-to-earn games and crypto, in general, are viewed with apprehension due to the froth in the market that’s fueled by speculative activity. But once that froth subsides, authorities all over the world may be more amenable to regulating Web 3.0 as a permanent feature of the digital economy. 

David Shin, head of global adoption at the Klaytn Foundation to Cointelegraph.

The South Korean government views these games as nothing more than money-making schemes. 

An ongoing battle for P2E game companies

While South Korea’s ban request is relatively new, developers of P2E games have long faced issues in the country. With several ongoing court cases since April 2021 to keep their games on sale in the app stores. The principal issue many P2E game companies are facing is that some of them cannot get the required age rating to list on the marketplaces.

Prizes from gaming in South Korea cannot exceed 10,000 Korean won ($8.42) at a time. 

The government is strengthening its efforts to combat P2E games by not providing them with an age rating. An age rating is a requirement to get listed on the app stores. 

Axie Infinity is one of the largest play to earn games. The minimum price to buy in has increased to around $1,500.
P2E games such as Axie Infinity are facing an uphill battle in South Korea. Screengrab via Axie Infinity.

P2E games such as Axie Infinity are facing an uphill battle in South Korea. Screengrab via Axie Infinity

The earnings from these games are considered prizes and are subject to the country’s regulations. In the absence of an age rating, the country 

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Rohan - Content Editor


Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)