Epic Games has told The Verge that it is open to having blockchain games and games that support cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based assets on its game store. Epic’s statement comes after its competitor, Valve, has banned games featuring blockchain technology and assets such as NFTs from Steam.
Epic was asked about the possibility of games featuring NFTs, to which it replied that it would be willing to work with early developers in the field.
Some Compliance Needed
However, Epic mentioned that the games would have to be compliant with financial laws, clearly state how the blockchain would be used, and have appropriate age ratings. The company also stated that developers would not be allowed to use Epic’s payment services to accept payments in crypto and instead will have to utilize their own payment systems.
Clarification Of Rules
Tim Sweeny, CEO of Epic Games, had earlier stated that the company isn’t interested in NFTs, but as things stand, it looks like that statement applies only to its own games. The company has stated that it will clarify rules by working with developers to understand how blockchain technology will be utilized in games. The CEO took to Twitter to share his thoughts regarding the use of blockchain technology in games, stating,
“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…As a technology, the blockchain is just a distributed transactional database with a decentralized business model that incentivizes investment in hardware to expand the database’s capacity. This has utility whether or not a particular use of it succeeds or fails.”
Developers Still Have To Wait
However, Epic’s willingness to support blockchain technology and blockchain games on its platform does not mean that developers who were forced off Steam will immediately be able to put their games up on the Epic Game Store. Epic’s self-publishing program is currently in closed beta, while the FAQ section of Epic Games specifies that it chooses who can join the platform only on a case-by-case basis.
However, Epic is known to be a relatively lenient and permissive platform owner, which had come into focus during its trial with Apple when lawyers bought up certain offensive and sexualized games that were available on itch.io.
Competing With Valve
Giving an opportunity to games that Steam has banned is one way in which Epic can compete with Valve. Epic is willing to make significant bets when it comes to trying to make its store a major player in the PC gaming space, and this development could serve to get developers and gamers on board.
NFT fans are already looking to Epic as news about the ban spread, with Enjin, a company helping developers integrate NFTs into their products, calling the decision by Valve “short-sighted” and “disappointing.”
The Steam Ban
The Steam ban came after Valve quietly banned all games that utilize cryptocurrencies and NFTs, reasoning that NFTs could be exchanged for real money. Steam’s updated Steam distribution onboarding guidelines specifically mention the banning of “applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.”
While Valve has not given any clear reasoning behind its decision to ban NFTs and cryptocurrencies, tweets by Age of Rust developer SpacePirate gave us a clue behind it. SpacePirate called the ban on NFTs and cryptocurrencies on Steam an extension of a general ban on all items with monetary value in the real world.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.