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Korean gaming companies to focus on the play-to-earn business model

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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In Korea, games are considered to be a major social activity, with most of the games being competitive. Over the years, the country has developed a strong economy in Asia through the development of creative industries in online games.

However, government regulations have been the major setbacks in the gaming industry, this can be seen through the prohibition of under 19 youth for some particular games, the weakening competitiveness of game companies, mandatory publishing of lucky-draw items among others.

With all these, the Korean gaming industries, particularly the top leading firms, the likes of Nexon, NCSOFT, Netmarble are focusing on play-to-earn (P2E) games as their next growth engine.

According to industry observers on Monday, the P2E allows gamers to make real money by playing games and providing other activities in the virtual world using bitcoin, which is becoming a new trend in the global gaming sector.

The Korean government ban on the play to earn games owning to the fact that the decision is particularly unusual in light of South Korea’s recent announcement that any games featuring crypto rewards, including those that allow NFTs to be traded for money, will be removed from app stores, rendering this move unprofitable in their native country.

However, this is unlikely to be a significant deterrent for Netmarble. In 2021, 74 percent of the company’s income came from global sales, and the team is anticipating the figure to grow above 80 percent for 2022.

P2E games are being produced or targeted for outside markets by large and small enterprises alike, however Korean companies are unable to use these products in Korea due to government rules in place because these sorts of games are difficult to oversee due to a variety of harmful side effects.

According to company officials and analysts, the government should relax rules so that P2E games can be offered domestically, allowing businesses to establish themselves while the worldwide market is still developing.

Speaking on the need for deregulation of the play-to-earn business model an official of the local game company said on condition of anonymity, thus:

“As many executives of local game firms have said, the trend of technology and the market is changing toward P2E games. If serving these kinds of games is the trend of the global market, I think it is a reasonable choice to respond accordingly.”

Bang Jun-hyuck, the CEO of Netmarble confirmed the company will start focusing on new titles adding blockchain capabilities.

“We plan to develop metaverse games that allow users, either individuals or companies, to gain virtual assets that can be exchanged for real assets such as currency through blockchain technology.”

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