It seems that Valve is banning crypto and NFT games from its online platform Steam. The news from developer Satoshis Games, who announced that Valve has blocked its NFT-based game Night Light from being released on the platform.
Following this, an update to Valve’s onboarding rules page for Steam stated that they were no longer allowing “Applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.”
Lite Night is a game where players would have been able to earn NFTs—non-fungible tokens—by playing the game, which they could then sell in a bitcoin marketplace.
NFTs are digital assets that represent “ownership” of specific image files. This ownership is recorded in a blockchain ledger, similar to cryptocurrency transactions. NFTs have been hailed by many as a new way for digital artists to make money from their work.
The NFT scene, however, has also become notorious for scammers who bail after the money has been paid. In addition, both NFTs and cryptocurrencies have raised alarm bells, with some questioning their heavy energy requirements. (Read: Cryptocurrency businesses must now conduct background checks, says BSP)
One study noted that, in half a year, an artist’s multi-edition NFTs can have a carbon footprint of 260 MWh, equivalent to flying for 1.5 thousand hours or using a laptop for 2.5 thousand years. This translates to 160 tons of CO2 emissions.
Valve banning crypto and NFT games on Steam could possibly be seen as a response to these issues.
NFT games still welcome on the Epic Game Store
In response to Valve banning Crypto and NFT games on Steam, Epic Games announced that they were more than welcome on its rival platform, the Epic Games Store.
Talking to The Verge, a representative for the company said that it was “open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets.”
The news comes off as an about-face for the company. Before this, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that the company was not interested in touching NFTs. With the new statement, however, it seems that this may only apply to Epic’s games.
In a tweet, Sweeney said that Epic welcomes “innovation in the areas of technology and finance.” He also suggested that the blockchain technology behind NFTs and cryptocurrencies—the same technology said to consume mass amounts of energy—isn’t inherently good or bad.
Following the announcement, Epic clarified that the games would still have to comply with existing financial laws. They would also have to make it clear how blockchain is used and have appropriate age ratings. In addition, the company clarified that developers would not be able to use Epic’s payment service to accept payments for crypto and NFTs—they would have to use their own payment systems.
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