South Korea May Forbid Apple And Google From Forcing Developers To Use Their Payment Systems
UPDATE: Law has passed Assembly, will go to the President
South Korea's government is making some significant changes to its laws regarding video games. The "shutdown law," which came into effect in 2012, blocks access to online games by young players during late hours. As the Korea Herald reports, that will be replaced by a "choice permit system," which will allow parents of underage gamers to set the limits for their children's game time.
Predictably, the previous law was circumvented in many ways, both by players and by game developers. Microsoft changed Minecraft's account system, requiring users to use "adults-only" accounts past the curfew time.
In other news that's sure to please Epic Games, a Reuters reports states that South Korea "is likely to bar Google and Apple from requiring software developers to use their payment systems." That's at the crux of the Epic lawsuits, which stem from that company trying to circumvent Apple's and Google's payment system for Fortnite on the App Store and iOS Store.
Apple is, understandably, against the idea, stating the usual security-related reasons for its commission on sales in its store; Google could not be reached for comment. Lawmakers in South Korea have apparently been pushing at the tech giants' hold on their stores since mid-2020.
UPDATE, Aug. 31: South Korea's National Assembly has passed the law, which will go into effect when President Moon Jae-in signs it. The Associated Press has reported that the law "bans app store operators such as Google and Apple from forcing developers to use their in-app payment systems." Apple criticized the move for safety and user-convenience reasons, while Google said it would take the next few weeks to "reflect on how to comply with this law while maintaining a model that supports a high-quality operating system and app store." Tim Sweeney is, obviously, happy with all this.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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