One of the major reasons deterring adoption is that these digital assets remain highly unregulated.
Steam, a subsidiary firm under Valve Software, recently updated the content rules and guidelines for studio partners. The firm stated that crypto-gaming and other initiatives that involve crypto mining, trading, and NFTs would no longer be accepted by the platform.
Steam Quietly Bans NFTs and Crypto Gaming
The announcement by Valve stated that all crypto gaming applications on Steam that are based on blockchain would be removed from the platform. The announcement also notes that this removal would include games that require the exchange of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
While Valve could be implementing this ban because of various concerns, it could show that these applications could be against their operating policies. The ban has also created concerns over whether NFTs have a future in the video gaming sector.
The move to ban crypto gaming and NFTs on Steam is a major blow to these two new crypto initiatives. Steam is the largest digital distribution platform for PS gaming. Hence, removing these applications from the platform cuts into the use cases for NFTs in the gaming sector and also undermines the relevance of crypto gaming.
However, Steam’s major competitor, Epic, has been more open towards NFTs. The firm had initially stated that it could consider allowing NFTs on the platform. However, the company is yet to give any clear roadmap that will bring NFTs into the largely popular PC gaming platform.
Valve did not issue any press release regarding this ban, but it chose a silent approach to address the removal. The firm’s ban was detected on a policy change made in the form of an addition to the existing rules and guidelines. The new rule on the platform noted several things that developers on the platform are barred from publishing on the platform.
The ban reads in part that applications “built on blockchain technology that issue or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies of NFTs” would no longer be permitted on the video gaming store.
Move Faces Heavy Opposition
However, the move by Steam to ban NFTs on the gaming platform has not been taken lightly by developers on the platform. Age of Rust, a video game that offers NFT items, has criticized this ban. The game’s developer, SpacePirate, has taken to Twitter to state that this ban has shed a negative light on Valve’s policies.
The developer notes that the ban shows that Valve believes that items sold on the platform should not have real value. He showed support for NFTs and crypto gaming, stating that he “fundamentally believes that NFTs and blockchain games are the future.”
The CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, has also reacted to this policy change by Valve. Sweeney stated that Epic was open to new innovations. However, it is important to note that Epic has yet to endorse NFTs and cryptocurrencies on the platform publicly.
In a tweet regarding the matter, Sweeney stated that
“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.”
Despite this policy change, it is important to note that most Steam games are not big on NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Besides, crypto gaming and NFTs are still a new concept, and very few gaming platforms have endorsed these initiatives.
Among the platforms that have made NFT gaming popular is the Age of Rust. Such platforms enable gamers to have real-world value for their in-game purchases. Moreover, some platforms are entirely dedicated to supporting the development of NFT games. Axie Infinity is an online video game platform that has around two million players daily. The platform is among the few supporting NFT gaming.
However, NFT game developers cannot downplay the implications of this policy change by Steam. It could minimize the chances of other gaming platforms adopting NFTs. However, with the NFT boom happening, these platforms could certainly be forced to change their policies to meet the growing demand.