Korean publishers forced to take crypto, betting games overseas due to regulations

2021.07.20 13:48:43 | 2021.07.20 13:51:07

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South Korea is a powerhouse in game production, but also in regulations.

On top of being the world’s only country outside socialist names to enforce shutdown on online game playing by minors after midnight, Korea prohibits crypto token employment and sports betting in games.

The Korea Creative Content Agency supports development blockchain-based games as they can ensure transparent competition and item transactions. But the crypto games that use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) cannot be serviced in the country because the Game Rating and Administration Committee refuses to rate the games on concerns of stimulating speculative drive in players.

Due to the regulations, local blockchain game developers such as Wemade, Mgame and Supertree have to service their games after excluding crypto features. SkyPeople, developer of “Five Stars for Klayton” based on Kakao Games’ blockchain platform Klayton, won a court battle against the rating committee’s refusal to rate the game last month. The company is about to launch the game, according to sources.

Sports betting games are also difficult to be serviced in the country as they are regulated along with web-board games. The rating committee said last month that it would not give ratings on games developed by sports prediction game operators such as Spolive and Infoguide Korea after they had decided in May to ban sports betting games.

Due to the tough regulations, NHN officially announced on June 30 that it would no longer service Hangame Match Prediction Game after an eight-month-long operation. “We decided to end the service because of the limitation to actively operate the game in the country due to the regulation,” the company said.

Companies are taking their games to overseas markets as result.. An official from Neptune that released sports match prediction game Ddada last month said they had to remove many features due to the regulations on speculative elements.

By Lee Yong-ik and Choi Mira

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]