Web3 fantasy sports company Sorare has recently come up with an alternate entry method for French players to comply with the country’s newly proposed regulatory framework surrounding non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This move not only demonstrates Sorare’s adaptability but also highlights the ongoing challenges that blockchain-based companies face in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment.
In an effort to legally onboard players in France, Sorare has decided to collaborate with the French National Gaming Authority (ANJ). The company has unveiled a temporary solution while continuing to develop its long-term roadmap amidst ongoing regulatory discussions. The alternate entry method is currently available for Sorare: Football and will be introduced for Sorare: MLB on May 26, 2023, and Sorare: NBA later in the year.
This development comes in response to the French government’s plans for a bill aimed at regulating in-game asset trading more robustly. However, the existing framework does not accommodate games like Sorare, prompting the company to seek ways to comply with the regulations for the time being. According to a Sorare spokesperson, this move is part of the company’s roadmap to create an inclusive ecosystem that unites tens of millions of sports fans and supports its mission to connect them with the players, teams, and leagues they love. Importantly, the core structure of Sorare’s game, competition, and cards remains unaffected.
Yet, the new entry method does impose certain restrictions that alter the gameplay experience for France-based players. By submitting a phone number and proof of residence, players in France can access the game. However, they will no longer be able to compete with the NFT versions of the digital cards carrying unique rarity traits. Instead, they will use lineups composed of non-blockchain versions of cards bearing similarities to Sorare’s NFT-based cards.
In the past, Sorare has experienced pressure from French authorities to change its rules due to the country’s gambling regulations. Following the French Gaming Authority’s call for better analysis of Web3 gaming in November, Sorare responded by expanding free access to its game to appease the ANJ.
The situation involving Sorare and the French regulators underscores the complex dynamics between blockchain-based businesses and the ongoing development of relevant legal frameworks. Companies operating in the crypto space must remain flexible and adaptable to navigate this evolving landscape, while regulators ponder how to strike a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring responsible and fair practices.