Valve has added a new regulation to Steam's onboarding page which essentially bans the sale of games that make use of blockchain technology on its platform.
NFTs are non-interchangeable units of data that can be used to represent easily reproducible items. Such items include photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files. NFTs use blockchain technology to establish a verified proof of ownership and act similarly in fashion to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The difference is that each NFT may represent a different asset along with a different value.
In Ages of Rust’s case, the game runs on the Enjin Platform and players need to download the Enjin Wallet in order to play it. Once installed, users are able to link their wallets to the game which verifies ownership of game items and allows them to view, sell, trade, and buy game items easily. Items are earned by puzzles, and some of these will award an NFT as an achievement.
The developer of the game feels Steam’s removal of such games is due to the fact the sellable items “have value” and that Valve will not allow “items that can have real-world value on their platform.” The devs said it believes that NFTs and blockchain games “are the future,” and that it was upfront with Valve from the beginning regarding blockchain gaming and NFTs.
"As a result, we finally lost the battle with Steam,” said the developer. “While I'm disappointed for Age of Rust being removed, the point is more to the fact that Blockchain games as a whole are going to be removed. This is a setback for all.”
While Valve has yet to issue a public comment on the matter, Epic Games appeared to be down with games that make use of blockchain technology and NFTs.
In response to Valve’s new decision, Epic CEO and co-founder Tim Sweeney tweeted that the company’s Epic Games Store will be made open to blockchain-based games.
”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,” Said Sweeney. “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.”
Sweeny’s comment is a turnaround as just last month he stated Epic wouldn’t touch NFTs because “as the whole, the field is currently tangled up with an intractable mix of scams, interesting decentralized tech foundations, and scams.”