What is the rating standard for blockchain games by the Game Rating and Administration Committee (GRAC)?
The local blockchain game industry is struggling to get started in the market due to existing regulations. After Infinity Star game from Nodebrick was rejected by the Game Rating and Administration Committee, opinions have emerged once again that the committee is stuck using old standards for new types of games. GRAC: “Blockchain games cause social disturbance” GRAC ruled last week not to give a rating for an application filed for Nodebrick’s Infinity Star. If wanting to release a game in Korea, a game must receive a rating from the committee. But the GRAC decided not to rule on the game, which now prohibits Nodebrick from marketing the game in Korea. In making that decision, GRAC cited a line from the Game Industry Promotion Act, which states that a game should not be allowed if it allows gambling or similar acts while playing. It also states that a game should not be using a currency the same as the one issued by the Bank of Korea or be managed in a way that promotes any social disturbance. In citing the regulation, GRAC chose not to give a rating to the game as the currency for players could play the same role as a legal currency. This is not the first time GRAC has made such a move in rating blockchain games. The committee ruled to re-rate Yuna’s Closet in 2017 after the game provided an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency called “Pixiecoin” as a reward for players. The game eventually had its server shut down. NFT Token was also considered currency-level game money The recent restriction on Infinity Star is more powerful than the one implemented on Yuna’s Closet. Unlike the 2017 launched game, Infinity Star didn’t have cryptocurrency circulated within the ecosystem. Yet items obtained through in-game actions are issued as Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens (NFT), which means that cryptocurrency is never used for real during gameplay. GRAC still decided to rule against rating the game even though there was no money that could be considered as cryptocurrency within the game system. According to a regulation on game money in the Game Industry Promotion Act, game money is defined as an item obtained by accident, dividend or betting during gameplay. Traded game money and data on items are also considered game money. Infinity Star’s NFTs can be used for trading items at a designated exchange. GRAC said that Infinity Star uses NFTs as a method to exchange them for real life currencies, which is against the regulation. Blockchain game industry, “Stopping NFT is an over-regulation” GRAC says the latest ruling is not prohibiting the general ecosystem of blockchain games, but the industry thinks otherwise. “At the moment, there isn’t a set standard on blockchain and cryptocurrency, but the latest ruling from GRAC shows that the committee is trying to act in line with the current administration, which is sensitive to the idea of cryptocurrency itself,” an industry source said. “It is hard to take the ruling as the result of analyzing related laws and regulations.” Whether NFT items issued by role playing games like Infinity Star are actually aleatory also comes into question. “There was a ruling in 2011 that items obtained from RPG games are the result of users’ diligence,” another source said. “The ruling was made on the blockchain game because there wasn’t any similar case in the past.”