PC gaming may be an open ecosystem, but Valve sets the rules on Steam. Now, it appears that Valve is banning games with blockchain, NFT, and cryptocurrency technology from its digital storefront.
As of October 15, 2021, Valve lists “Applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” as items you “shouldn’t publish on Steam” on an official support page for game developers.
We checked on Archive.org for that same support page as of October 6, 2021, and the rule regarding blockchain, NFT, and cryptocurrency isn’t there. It’s a recent change to Valve’s developer documentation.
This policy change came to light when SpacePirate Games, the developer of Age of Rust (a game that offers NFTs), tweeted that Valve would be kicking existing blockchain games off the Steam platform:
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 (@AgeofRust) October 14, 2021
While it sounds like the developer has communicated with Valve regarding NFT-based games on Steam, it looks like Valve has made its decision. “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,” the company said in a follow-up tweet.
We’ve reached out to Valve for comment regarding this policy change, but we hadn’t heard back as of publication time. We will update this piece if Valve responds.
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