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South Korea doesn’t want you to play to earn

Courtesy of Axie Infinity

South Korea doesn’t want you to play to earn


The Future. South Korea is doing everything in its power to ban play-to-earn video games in the country because it views earnings as prizes (which is looked down upon), as opposed to a legit form of income. With play-to-earn games being a key aspect of metaverse adoption, South Koreans may find themselves held back from a technological revolution if the country gets its way.

Games for free
South Korea is not a big fan of people making money by playing games.

  • The South Korean government has asked both Apple and Google to remove play-to-earn (P2E) games — such as Axie Infinity — from app stores in the country.
  • Additionally, it won’t allow new P2E games to be released anymore.

Tightening restrictions even further, Seoul’s Game Management Committee (GMC) said that any games that require an in-app purchase before playing should also be banned.

Lose the winnings
The big question here is: what gives? Essentially, the South Korean government doesn’t see P2E games as a legit form of income. Instead, the earnings from these games are considered by Seoul as “winnings” or “prizes” for which the legal limit is only 10,000 Korean won (a measly $8.42 USD).

So, the country’s workaround to ban the games is to bar the Game Rating Administration Committee and the Game Content Rating Board from age-rating P2E games (a game being rated is required for games to be released).

This is a blow to P2E game developers, especially considering that South Korea is the fourth largest game market in the world — 70.5% of the entire population plays video games.