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Steam Bans Games Which Include Crypto & NFTs, Whilst Epic Games ‘Welcomes’ Them

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Valve’s Steam video game marketplace has just banned all blockchain-based games from its platform which issue or allow for the exchange of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
  • This was first discovered by an independent developer and has since been reflected in the updated terms of service page on the Steam website.
  • Shortly after this was discovered, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney promptly published news about the Epic Games Store, making it clear that games making use of blockchain technology would be “welcome” on the platform.
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Valve’s Steam video games marketplace has officially updated its terms and conditions for game publishers, adding a new rule that no games will be accepted onto steam that is built on blockchain technology and issues / allows the exchange of crypto, including NFTs. Steam is one of the largest video-game marketplaces which specializes in the PC and Mac platforms.

This was first discovered by video-game developer Spacepirate, who shared the news in a tweet. SpacePirate is a developer who is currently working on the NFT-based game ‘Age of Rust’.

In the tweet, Spacepirate claimed that he and his peers had received an official notification from Valve in which the company announced that it would be “kicking *all blockchain games* off the platform, including Age of Rust, because NFTs have value”. Spacepirate’s tweet also includes an attached image of the official rules and guidelines for publishing games on Steam, as published by Valve. What is notable is the inclusion of a new rule for “what not to publish” which could not previously be found online. 

Upon looking at Valve’s official documentation webpage for Steam, entitled ‘Onboarding (Steamworks Documentation)’ you can see that SpacePirate’s claim is true, with the new rule (#13) stipulating that one cannot publish “Applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” on Valve’s Steam platform.

The change is likely to spur an exodus of NFT and blockchain-based games from Steam.

Epic Games Store will allow NFTs says CEO Tim Sweeney

Launched in 2018, the Epic Games Store is a relatively recent entrant to the PC video-game store market and yet it has quickly become one of the top contenders to the throne which was previously held almost exclusively by Steam. Despite being new to the PC video games store market, Epic has become a major player in the video games’ industry.

Shortly after the new rule against blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFT based games appeared on the Steam guidelines, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney disclosed to The Verge that the Epic Games Store was “open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets”.

This statement follows an earlier one also made by Sweeney, in which he said that Epic wasn’t interested in working with NFTs, however this is contradicted by his more recent statement, leading to speculation that this claim only relates to games published or developed directly by Epic itself.

Tim Sweeney reiterated this news via Twitter with a tweet posted on October 15, 2021, were announced that the Epic Games Store would openly “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.”

Furthermore, Epic made it clear that cryptocurrencies could not be traded or exchanged in any way using their payment services, and that third parties would instead need to use their own solution.

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