Video game platform Steam is suspending all games and apps that are remotely related to blockchain, cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Steam no longer wants NFTs
Valve, the studio behind Steam, has banned all games related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies on its platform. Steam is one of the largest video game platforms in the world, with a catalog of thousands of games and 25 million daily players.
In its “rules and guidelines” section, the Steam team, has listed a new element:
“Applications built on the blockchain that issue or enable the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs are prohibited”.
The new rules fall under the category of “what you shouldn’t post on Steam” which also prohibits hate speech, defamatory statements.
Despite this quiet change in the rules, Steam’s ban did not go unnoticed for long. One of the most vocal critics came from Sky Mavis Studio, the creator of Axie Infinity (AXS):
“Today, Steam blocked all blockchain-based games using NFTs from their store. Our games represent a different path, a future where gamers have property rights and economic freedom. We will win. The future of gaming is at stake.”
What are the reasons for this decision?
What could be the reasons for this move away from Steam? According to Steam, NFTs have a value and the company does not allow items that can have a price in the real world on their platform
Thus, NFTs and cryptocurrency-related games pose a legal risk for Valve, as NFTs could be considered securities in the eyes of regulators. With these risks involved, it’s easy to see why Steam wants to distance itself from these types of games.
However, the use of NFTs and blockchain in games has gained considerable popularity this year. Sky Mavis, the startup behind Axie Infinity, recently raised $152 million in a funding round that valued the company at $3 billion.
According to Invest Game’s report, Crypto Gaming companies raised 9% of the $4.6 billion raised by the gaming industry in the first half of 2021. Of that $476 million, 75% was raised by just 3 companies – Forte ($185M), Animoca Brands ($89M), and Mythical Games ($75M) for a total of $349 million.
A new competition that worries the gaming industry’s behemoths?