Update 10/15: Epic Games has come out in support of blockchain technology so along as "they follow the relevant laws," according to CEO and founder Tim Sweeney.
Hours after it was reported Steam would ban blockchain-backed games that offer NFT and cryptocurrency, Epic Games has taken the opposite stance and said they are open to blockchain-based games.
In a tweet, Sweeney says, "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."
Sweeney says that Epic will not be using crypto in its own games, but welcomes "innovation in the areas of technology and finance."
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. https://t.co/6W7hb8zJBw— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 15, 2021
Sweeney did Tweet in September that Epic won't touch NFTs "as the whole field is currently tangled up with an intractable mix of scams, interesting decentralized tech foundations, and scams."
Replied:— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 27, 2021
We aren’t touching NFTs as the whole field is currently tangled up with an intractable mix of scams, interesting decentralized tech foundations, and scams.
Still, Sweeney seems to maintain that Epic itself will not be incorporating crypto into its own games and reaffirmed that the technology itself is a "utility whether or not a particular use of it succeeds or fails."
Original Story: Games that feature blockchain technology that allows for the exchange of NFTs or cryptocurrency will no longer be allowed on Steam.
According to a new rule on Steam's partner onboarding page, Valve says distributors shouldn't publish, "applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs."
Age of Rust, a game that involves players collecting in-game NFTs, says Steam informed them that they're kicking "all blockchain games off the platform, including Age of Rust, because NFTs have value."
Community: A few minutes ago, we were notified that @Steam will be kicking *all blockchain games* off the platform, including Age of Rust, because NFTs have value. Behind the scenes, we've had good communication and have been upfront with Steam. #blockchaingames #NFT— Age of Rust (@SpacePirate_io) October 14, 2021
NFT stands for "non-fungible token," and they are digital assets that are sold and bought online. NFTs can take many forms, but they have become increasingly popular as digital art. Artists can create a piece of digital artwork, register it as an NFT, and sell a limited number of them.
You can think of it as building a collection of paintings, trading cards, or other collectibles, only in the digital space. In video games, NFTs could take the form of in-game collectibles, skins, and more.
According to Age of Rust, Steam doesn't want to allow items on the platform that can have real-world value. IGN has reached out to Valve for comment, and we will update this article when we hear back.
For more on Valve, check out our impressions of the Steam Deck, Valve's handheld gaming PC.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.