Valve Bans Blockchain Games and NFT’s On Steam but Epic Will Try to Make It Work. The developer of Age of Rust, a blockchain game that uses NFTs, took to Twitter to say it had been notified that Steam “will be kicking all blockchain games off the platform, including Age of Rust, because NFTs have value”.
According to cointribune, The American computer game developer and publisher Valve has banned “applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow an exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” on Steam. Meanwhile, Epic Games Store, Steam’s main competitor, has stated that similar games are still available in their store.
Valve Bans Blockchain Games and NFT’s On Steam but Epic Will Try to Make It Work
According to an article on the verge, Steam is one of the most well-known PC game stores but it’s not the only one.
While Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney has said that the company isn’t interested in touching NFTs, that policy doesn’t seem to apply to games in its store: Epic told The Verge that it’s “open” to the idea of games that use NFTs or cryptocurrencies in an email on Friday.
Steam has a history of making controversial moderation decisions, especially when it comes to games with sexual content.
In this case, though, it doesn’t seem like people are pressing F to pay respects to NFT games — a majority of the replies and quote tweets to SpacePirate’s tweets are praising Valve for the move (or mocking those that are upset about it).
NFTs allows you to buy and sell ownership of unique digital items and keep track of who owns them using the blockchain. NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” and it can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, songs, or items in video games.
An NFT can either be one-of-a-kind, like a real-life painting, or one copy of many, like trading cards, but the blockchain keeps track of who has ownership of the file.
NFTs have been making headlines lately, some selling for millions of dollars, with high-profile memes like Nyan Cat and the “deal with it” sunglasses being put up for auction.
There’s also a lot of discussion about the massive electricity use and environmental impacts of NFTs. If you (understandably) still have questions, you can read through our NFT FAQ.
Steam Avoiding NFT
It’s perhaps understandable why Steam would want to avoid having NFTs on its platform. Besides the justification cited by SpacePirate that they could have real-world value (which seems a bit weak, given the massive commercial communities around things like CS:GO skins and Team Fortress 2 hats), NFT, and crypto-based games don’t have the best reputations.
There’s the infamous Evolved Apes saga where a developer sold NFTs with the promise that they’d be included in a fighting game but then seemingly took the money and ran.
There are some potentially interesting game concepts that use NFTs, but it’s hard to say how many of them would’ve been a good fit for Steam even if they were allowed.
NFTS May Become a Big Question in Platform Moderation
Steam and Epic’s different approaches highlight the fact that any platform or store that moderates content will likely have to make a decision about whether it wants to allow apps or games to sell NFTs.
One of the biggest question marks right now may be Apple and how it handles apps like OpenSea and Coinbase should they decide to start letting users buy the digital tokens.