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Epic welcomes blockchain and NFT games as Steam bans them

But firm says titles will need to comply with financial laws and make it clear how blockchain is used, with more rules to follow

Epic Games has confirmed it is open to selling video games that use blockchain and NFTs through its store.

This followed quickly in the wake of reports that Valve has banned developers from publishing "applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs," according to its updated guidelines.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted that his company's games story would allow titles using this technology "provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by the appropriate group."

He clarified that Epic Games is not currently using the tech or cryptocurrencies in its own games, but "[welcomes] innovation in the areas of technology and finance."

He added: "As a technology, the blockchain is just a distributed transactional database with a decentralised business model that incentivise investment in hardware to expand the database's capacity. This has utility whether or not a particular use of it succeeds or fails."

Epic Games offered more detail to The Verge, emphasising that there will be some limitations, which will be fully clarified at a later stage as it works with developers to learn more about how they plan to use blockchain tech in their titles.

In addition to complying with financial laws, developers will need to explain to consumers how the blockchain is being used.

They will not be allowed to use Epic's payment service to accept crypto, and must instead use their own systems.

However, this does not mean there is likely to be a rush of developers with blockchain games heading to Epic Games Store. The marketplace's self-publishing program is still in closed beta, with new applicants judged on a case-by-case basis.

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Latest comments (1)

Michal Piatek VFX Artist, Unknown WorldsA month ago
This is a horrible decision. Whether we like it or not games industry plays a measurable part in global CO2 emissions even without crypto tech being a part of it. Now we are adding even more unsustainable insanity to the industry. NFTs and crypto is known for their insane electricity usage - mostly generated with fossil fuels - and drives the sales of computer components.

Take a gaming industry, mix it up with crypto and NFTs, multiply this by the crazy amount of people who are gaming these days and you've got a perfect storm of even more CO2 emissions. And those games are coming! (Star Atlas for example)

I know, it's weird for a video game professional to be complaining about CO2 emissions while I'm benefitting from the fact game industry exists but I honestly hope that we can make this industry sustainable and seeing NFTs and crypto enter the game room makes me feel sick. This is the opposite of sustainable and the opposite of what we should be doing right now.
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