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Steam bans blockchain and NFT games

Age of Rust developer says Valve won't let it publish the game on Steam because NFTs have real-world value

Valve is not allowing blockchain-based games or those featuring NFTs on Steam, as noted by Age of Rust developer SpacePirate Games.

The studio yesterday said on Twitter that Valve would remove all blockchain games from the platform. A screenshot of Steam's developer rules and guidelines attached to the post indicated that games "built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs" could not be distributed on the storefront.

"Steam's point of view is that items have value and they don't allow items that can have real-world value on their platform," the developer said.

Valve's concern over in-game items having real-world value may stem in part from gambling laws in its home state of Washington. In 2018, the Ninth Circuit of US Court of Appeals ruled that virtual chips in the social casino game Big Fish Casino qualified as "a thing of value" under Washington law, which made the game itself an illegal gambling operation.

A Valve representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.