- Blockchain games are still fighting for legitimacy.
- Valve added a new rule on their publishing list, which includes blockchain games.
- Epic Games Store will accept blockchain games but doesn’t feel confident about backing NFTs due to their speculative nature.
The utility and affordances of blockchain are being recognized in more than just finance. The interlink between gamification and finance has helped create a new blockchain byproduct that mimics mainstream experiences, but with an economic side. NFTs are one of the catalyzing agents for the surge of gamified finance as it unlocks new possibilities for players. Still, mainstream gaming platforms have divided opinions towards the phenomenon.
A Way of Losing Capital
Steam, the popular non-agnostic game store, which hosts 24 million users, added a new rule that bans blockchain games from their store. Steam also modified their “Rules and Guidelines” to include blockchain games, arguing that games that “issue or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” are banned.
The “update” was reported by SpacePirates, who were banned from publishing a game on Steam; however, the date of the platform guidelines is yet unknown. Although Steam does state that they will not accept blockchain games because they have real-world applications, in-game skins for games such as CS:GO have created new economies outside the control of Valve.
Ledger Insights highlights the fact that NFTs, aside from their highly speculative and scammy nature, could disrupt Valve’s business model. Moreover, NFTs could “sidestep” Valve’s payment gateway, decreasing its bottom line.
Epic Is Open to Blockchain Gaming
Epic Games, who are best known for the multi-million dollar, Gen Z game Fortnite, told The Verge that the company is “open” to accepting games that “support cryptocurrencies” and NFTs. This is in direct contradiction to Valve, which allegedly seeks to control the platform from any potential scams.
Epic did note that blockchain games are required to “comply with financial laws” and “have appropriate age ratings,” possibly to avoid scamming users. In a tweet, Epic’s CEO, Tim Sweeny, highlighted that, while the company is open to blockchain, they are not interested in NFTs. He argued that they “aren’t touching NFTs,” focusing mainly on the ‘scammy’ nature.
Twitter user Thread Guy emphasized that Fortnite has set a precedent for what is possible in the metaverse, most likely referencing the concerts hosted by Travis Scott and Arianne Grande, which gathered millions of users to participate. As a result, the entanglement of blockchain with centralized companies such as Epic could create a similarly influential game among NFTs.
According to Sweeny, Epic welcomes innovation, emphasizing that blockchain brings new models to the gaming and finance space, highlighting that blockchain is neither good, nor bad for the space. With that being said, Fortnite might not get involved with NFTs, despite selling in-game skins to players.
On The Flipside
- Epic’s blockchain approach could be a response to their Apple lawsuit, which they ultimately lost.
- Projects such as Enjin could overtake Epic or Valve if they don’t adhere to the growing demands of this new cohort of users.
Blockchain Games Take a Leap
Not only did Axie Infinity become one of the most played blockchain games, its blockchain network, according to DappRadar, registered the second-highest number of transactions during Q3. What’s more, Axie raised $152 million in a new series of funding, grounding the game as a disruptor in the gaming industry.
What’s certain is that companies such as Epic and Valve don’t need blockchain to generate revenue. In fact, they are the contrast between centralization and decentralization, the very thing NFTs look to address. However, the budding nature of NFTs and blockchain as an industry opens opportunities for scams that ultimately hinder the space’s mainstream positioning.
With Web 3.0 becoming a certainty, and Facebook working towards the metaverse, blockchain usability is as important as ever. SpacePirate argues that Valve’s decision is a “setback for all,” although some might consider it an opportunity to no longer rely on such centralized entities to reach new consumers.
Why You Should Care?
Blockchain gaming is becoming more mediated as it targets digital natives, who will increasingly become the intended user base of blockchain technology. If Epic decides to accept NFTs in the future, that would likely be a catalyzing event for mass adoption, as it would enable interaction with entire generations.