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EXCLUSIVE. "Jonum" regime: Ubisoft threatens to ban its games in France

EXCLUSIVE. "Jonum" regime: Ubisoft threatens to ban its games in France

Barely passed by the French National Assembly, the bill to regulate video games using NFTs is attracting criticism from the gaming world.

Very discreet since the opening of debates aimed at regulating Web3 gaming, the giant Ubisoft has not been happy with the final text voted through by MPs on Tuesday (the law aimed at securing and regulating the digital space) 🗳️.

"The direction the regulations are taking, largely inspired by gambling regulations, seems to us to be disproportionate to the majority of Web3 exploratory models in video games," explains Nicolas Pouard, director of Ubisoft's innovation laboratory.

According to him, "the text does not seem to have been thought out for use cases specific to traditional gaming, which is likely to be a major brake on Web3 initiatives in video games in France".

With this in mind, Ubisoft is considering restricting access to its Web3 games to French players (via geolocation systems, for example). The first of these games, "Champions Tactics", is due to be released shortly 🗓️.

👉 What's the sticking point?

The Jonum (Games with Monetisable Digital Objects) experimental framework, sometimes referred to as the "Sorare law", was designed to regulate online games using monetisable digital objects, distinguishing them from games of money and chance such as casinos, sports and horse betting.

Although this framework is less restrictive than that for traditional gambling, it includes numerous measures to protect players, demanded in response to intense lobbying by gambling operators who see Web3 games as unfair competition.

"Jonum" games will be required to verify players' ages when they register (to prevent access by minors 🔞 ) and will also have to verify players' identities when they wish to withdraw their winnings (to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing).

An industry expert points out that these obligations do not come naturally to the gambling industry, which fears that its historic business will one day be more strictly regulated.

"Having a safe and responsible ecosystem for users, with clear rules, must be a priority," points out Nicolas Pouard. "But this must be done in a proportionate manner in accordance with the many rules and standards that already govern the video game industry (consumer law, RGPD, distance selling, PEGI etc.)."

As specified above, the ball is now in the Senate's court, which must vote on the text. But it's not certain that the text will change at this level. Will Ubisoft make good on its threat? The answer in a few weeks' time 👀.

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