A South Korean court ruled against the release of a blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) game last Friday after determining that in-game non-fungible tokens (NFT) promote speculation, Yonhap News Agency reported.

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Fast facts

  • SkyPeople, the South Korean developer of NFT game Five Stars, argued in an appeal that game items and characters minted as NFTs are not rewards but records of ownership, Yonhap reported citing court documents.
  • However, the Seoul Administrative Court dismissed SkyPeople’s appeal against the Game Rating Administration Committee’s decision not to process the age rating for Five Stars. The court said NFTs cannot be seen as game items if they are traded on exchanges.
  • Five Stars allows players to mint characters and items into tradable NFTs on the Klaytn blockchain. Its collection had 2,249 owners on OpenSea, as of Jan. 17.
  • All video games must acquire an age rating from the game rating committee for South Korean release. 
  • Games that involve cryptocurrencies or NFTs have been banned in South Korea by the game rating committee on the back of a local law that prohibits firms from promoting speculative behaviors to players via cashable rewards. 
  • South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol had promised to abolish the P2E ban in his election campaign last year.
  • South Korean P2E game makers have released blockchain-based games abroad, hoping that the local ban will be lifted

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