Last Friday, a South Korean court ruled against the release of a blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) game, determining that the in-game non-fungible tokens (NFTs) promoted speculation.

SkyPeople, the South Korean developer of the NFT game Five Stars, argued that the game items and characters minted as NFTs were records of ownership rather than rewards.

However, the Seoul Administrative Court disagreed, saying that NFTs cannot be seen as game items if they are traded on exchanges.

In South Korea, all video games must acquire an age rating from the Game Rating Administration Committee.

The committee has banned games that involve cryptocurrencies or NFTs due to 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.

In the meantime, South Korean P2E game makers have released blockchain-based games outside the country, hoping that the local ban will eventually be lifted.