Popular PC game stores, Steam has updated new rules and guidelines saying that the platform has banned games that are built on blockchain technology that allows NFT and crypto trading.
Steam will no longer allow games that enable NFT (non-fungible token) and cryptocurrency trading that are built on blockchain technology from October 15, according to the official support page for game developers. Under the heading “what you shouldn’t publish on Steam”, the new rule states that “applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” should not be distributed on the platform.
There are numerous games on Steam that currently tie NFT and cryptocurrency into their gameplay. One of which is Mir4, which allows players to earn cryptocurrency in-game despite negative reviews highlighting allegedly boring gameplay.
The developers behind Age of Rust, a blockchain-based game where players can collect NFTs, commented on this saying:
“We chose to be upfront about blockchain gaming and NFTs. As a result, we finally lost the battle with Steam. 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.”
Valve, the company behind the Steam store, has not yet explained the reason for this ban. Some have speculated that the ban may be partially due to the fact that Steam does not want games that contain items with “real-world value” in their store.
Another possible reason is that if a Steam game contains cryptocurrencies or NFTs, the game effectively functions as an unregulated “store-within-a-store” that Steam may be unable to profit from, depending on the game.
Due to the decentralized nature of blockchain gaming, it would be difficult for Steam to enforce rules upon a blockchain game if the game’s protocol does not allow it as the company would not be able to regulate or shape the immutable code that lives on the blockchain.