Valve quietly issued a new edict: No NFT or Cryptocurrency on Steam. The recently updated Steam distribution integration guidelines specifically prohibit any “blockchain technology-based application that issues or allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs”.
In short, NFTs are unique digital receipts (stored on a blockchain, a sort of irreversible ledger database) that typically correlate with “ownership” of a jpg file or other digital medium. NFTs are typically purchased with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum (also blockchain transactions), which can be sold for US dollars and other national currencies in exchanges.
Valve did not explain why it was banning NFTs and cryptocurrencies from Steam, but the decision does not appear to be rooted in any of the recent scandals or controversies surrounding blockchain technology: NFTs have been used to scam millions of people dollars in exchange for what amounts to a receipt for a JPG, this led to art flight designed for other games, and the environmental cost of blockchain ledgers remains a controversial issue.
A series of tweets from the Age of Rust developer SpacePirate give us a little insight. Age of Rust assigns NFTs to unique items and gear, and even missions. SpacePirate tweeted Thursday that the company has been told Steam will be phasing out all blockchain-based projects, including Age of Rust.
SpacePirate says Steam’s ban on NFTs and cryptocurrency is an extension of a general ban on items that have real monetary value.
Community: A few minutes ago, we were informed that @Steam will be removing * all blockchain games * from the platform, including Age of Rust, because NFTs are valuable. Behind the scenes, we had good communication and were upfront with Steam. #blockchaingames #NFT 1/4 pic.twitter.com/W4pR3Xl63qOctober 14, 2021
Valve didn’t make a statement clarifying its reason (and didn’t respond to a request for comment), and we couldn’t find any bans on items of real value written anywhere. On September 30, the CEO of Satoshis Games said their blockchain-based game Light Nite was from Steam, but did not explain why, except to say that Steam “will not offer crypto or NFT games”.
If the rule regarding objects that have monetary value exists, it presumably refers only to objects that have a monetary value. keep monetary value when owned by a player, as tons of items are sold as DLC on Steam. Even so, however, Steam is focused on users buying and selling digital collectibles for real money. For years, Steam allowed users to collect digital cards by completing certain challenges in many games and then selling them to other users for Steam Wallet funds. In CS: GO, weapon skins sold by players can cost thousands of dollars. Valve’s attempt to build an economy in the collectible card game The artifact failed, with the game launching in late 2018 and free in early 2021, but that was not far from the visions presented by NFT evangelists today.
One possible explanation behind Valve’s choice to ban NFTs and cryptocurrencies is the legal issue the company had in 2016 for do not brake the game on CS: GO skins. At one point, Valve banned seven players from intentionally losing a match in order to earn thousands of dollars in CS: GO skins. Valve ended up issuing a rare statement afterwards, saying pro CS: GO players should not play or associate with gaming entities or provide information that could influence CS: GO betting. Two popular YouTubers who promoted a CS: GO gaming site without revealing that they were co-owners were also ordered by the FTC not to start over and provide compliance records for the next 10 years, but otherwise got off without a scott, which angered a lot of people.
The world of NFTs and cryptocurrencies has so far been strewn with scams and shady transactions, and Valve may no longer want its platform to be used by other gambling companies. or other ploys that could put him in legal danger.
So what kind of games won’t we see on Steam due to the new rule? Some examples include CryptoKitties, in which you buy and “breed” cats to earn cryptocurrency, and Spells of Genesis, a collectible card game where every card is on the blockchain. None of these games were on Steam initially, as games with NFT or other blockchain elements tend to be more available on mobile devices or their own independent websites.
However, many blockchain and NFT-based “games” are best described as marketing campaigns or virtual savings that only promise that there will be something to play in the future. As a recent example, the infamous The “evolved apes” fiasco saw someone sell NFTs of characters they promised to put in a fighting game before running off with $ 2.7 million in cryptocurrency. Needless to say, there is no fighting game.
On the Epic Games Store, CEO Tim Sweeney’s message has been a bit mixed. Earlier this year, he said Epic would not get involved in NFT.
“We’re not touching NFTs because the whole field is currently entangled in an intractable mix of scams, interesting decentralized tech foundations and scams,” Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted last month.
After the announcement that Steam was changing its guidelines, Sweeney tweeted that the Epic Games Store will actually host the use of blockchain technology.
“The Epic Games Store will host games that use blockchain technology as long as they comply with applicable laws, disclose their terms and are age categorized by an appropriate group,” Sweeney said. “Although Epic does not use crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance.”