Valve has made an update to its “What You Shouldn’t Publish on Steam” list. That list includes things that one would hope game creators would know better than to publish in a game. It makes sense for Valve to spell things out very clearly, in order to avoid problems.
A new addition to the list disallows “Applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs”. I expect that some people will not be happy about this, especially those who built games involving one of both of those things.
For example, The Verge reported that this change was pointed out by SpacePirate_io, on Twitter, who appears to be the developer of a game called Age of Rust.
One of the tweets in SpacePirate_io’s thread says: “Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform. While I respect their choice, I fundamentally believe that NFTs and blockchain games are the future. It’s why I started this journey with all of you”.
According to The Verge, there have been some situations involving NFTs that have been sketchy. One example is the CS:GO skins and Team Fortress 2 hats. The Verge also notes the 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.”
Where can developers of games that include blockchain or NFTs go? The answer appears to be Epic Games.
Epic Games CEO & Founder Tim Sweeney tweeted: “Epic Games Store will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group. Though Epic’s not using crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance.”
In my opinion, welcoming games that use blockchain technology and NFTs could be a big gamble for Epic Games. That decision may cause people who play video games, and who dislike blockchain based games, to select games that don’t have that stuff in them. I’ve seen some tweets in which people encourage others to avoid buying games from companies that welcome the types of games that Valve has removed from Steam.