Steam was originally launched to publish Valve games. Later on, it has opened its gate for other game developers to publish Game titles. Soon game developers got one platform to reach out to games and have visibility. As for gamers, it’s the cheapest way to buy any game, gone are the days of buying a DVD case for PC gamers. Because steam updates can be released more often. As a matter of fact, Valve is the parent company of steam. Steam is one of the largest online gaming platforms in the world. In the latest updates about steam, it has been observed that valve has banned all the blockchain games and NFTs on steam. The concurrent policy changes have come with some regulations and valve has instructed its developers to stop publishing on Steam.
The new regulations have restricted blockchain games and conferred that the blockchain technology which grants the exchange of cryptocurrency will be prohibited from the largest PC video game store in the world. A famous developer who is referred to as SpacePirate (known for Age of Rust) has stated on his Twitter that the policy confers Valve’s perspective that the items on its database should not hold physical world value. He has also posted on his Twitter that he “fundamentally believe[s] that NFTs and blockchain games are the future.” Valve simply doesn’t want to get entangled in future court cases. That means they do provide a platform for these games, and if such a game is an obvious scam to anyone with half a brain, and they still let them go ahead, you can be sure at some point there would be a class-action lawsuit from a bunch of dummies who lost money in such a scam, claiming that they only did that because they thought the game wasn’t a scam, because it was endorsed by Steam.
Valve has nothing to gain from games that make money with cryptocurrencies or NFTs, but a lot to lose, especially reputation-wise. The news of the ban spread like a wildfire on the internet. Epic games conferred in a discussion that they are in the welcome mode for the initiation of innovation. On the other hand, Epic games have been stern to go against NFT and crypto. The CEO of Epic Games Tim Sweeney posted on his Twitter that the store “will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group.” It is a wise decision to protect consumers and themselves from a whole headache of legal ramifications relating to these types of games. The basic fact is that these games are financial trading platforms.
Valve and steam would have to jump through a lot of federal hoops if they were hosting those types of platforms on their system. And if they are a scam, it is potentially a lawsuit against valve if it does all go tits up. But banning things to protect consumers isn’t uncommon or bad, just easily abusable. There are loopholes because there will always be something so asinine that stating it seems insane until someone does so, but there are tons of things banned in every country that are done to protect consumers. Now we will grant that not everything that’s banned under this reasoning is done for the consumer, anyone who believes that is just foolish or naïve. It just sounds like Valve doesn’t want to have to deal with volatile currencies, for example, the CS: GO stuff is all based on the standard currency that won’t tank or go 10x or 100x within a few days the NFT and Crypto stuff sounds like it would be a nightmare to set up for just a few games plus it would probably open up Valve to the Trade commissions.
An NFT game produces a huge incentive for hackers to cheat in the game and make more money, potentially taking the means to earn anything away from legitimate players. “Made in the USA” is part of the consumer protection laws (and there are multiple versions of this for other countries), we can understand why people want to know they’re supporting their homeland and not being duped into paying another country for their products. There are a wide variety of things being banned to protect the consumer, but there are so many more that we just didn’t think or care to post them all here. Nothing cringes worthy about it. A lot of reasons for banning things suck, but banning nothing and expecting people to figure it out at some point would be a lot worse.
Experts believe that it is a good move. Until proven otherwise, these games should be considered scams. Although, population opinion will change over the years, right now it’s so easy to build scams around crypto (as we’ve seen) than it’s better to be cautious. This is coming straight from the legal department. Most of the people playing these things are speculators. With that in mind, it could easily be seen as an investment platform with all of the attached regulations across all of Valve’s markets. Valve wants no part of that. It’s a gaming platform. It might have a ton of worthless games with questionable monetization but they are games nonetheless. Crypto games are just pyramid schemes bound to go wrong, it doesn’t necessarily have to start like a scheme but it will happen at some point.
The ban may make sense for Steam right now this first wave is mostly scammed with some unworthy and scam gaming thrown in for good measure. They may improve but the motivations of the developers are off. Once we get someone like a AAA dev working crypto into a AAA title, it might get some credibility. Things like Axie Infinity and New Worlds are little more than gambling. While a majority of sections believe that AAA titles want to risk that considering cryptocurrency is not only banned on steam but also in China, that is a MASSIVE market miss. While in the west a lot of regulations are already in place with more being discussed and coming. It is not the future because when you mess with the banks you get run over and crypto will soon be a relic of the past.
The real-world value argument can be seen from the banning of all blockchain games and the NFTs on steam. It’s the same logic as with “diamonds”, “crystals” or any other RMT currency. They’re not directly physical cash, hence the steam market items only have indirect real-life value, as you can only use the wallet currency on the Steam platform, and not cash out. If the NFT stuff wouldn’t be able to be cashed out for hard cash (e.g. instead put them up as an item on the steam marketplace) , they’d be fully in the clear by valve’s standards. Valve might have just realized that there’s not a lot of money to be made for being the storefront, most of these games are either free or have a nominal price in USD and then very high prices in cryptocurrency.
We can reckon that Steam would just allow games that operate with NFTs/stuff if they had an easy way to get their share. There is a doubt that Valve cares about it being potentially gamer unfriendly etc., you can look at Dota’s battle pass system, it’s probably one of the greediest ones out there, and there are greedy companies flourishing well. Experts also suspect that Valve will remove this ban sometime in the future when these NFT & Cryptocurrency “games” become mainstream because that’s what they do when there’s money to be made. Many scams work out because adults have no idea they are scams. Videos on Youtube that got by the algorithm for kids because they looked like children’s videos, to find out they had all types of messed up stuff in them. If adults didn’t need someone to protect them from themselves, there wouldn’t need to be warning labels like “Don’t wear clothes while ironing” or “Do not place hairdryers in water”.
There are way too many instances of people being too ignorant or stupid to know better for this to be true, sadly. Though the whole “Tear off the warning labels and let Darwinism take its course” sure sounds better in the more instances of these we hear a lot. However, there are a lot of things that are banned for safety reasons. A lot of US foods (snack cakes, chicken, food colourings) are banned in other parts of the world due to certain chemicals or cleaning methods we use that the world at large deems unsafe. Asbestos was banned because prolonged exposure could cause a crazy amount of health issues and easily lead to death. So the thing is Valve probably just doesn’t want to get into all the legalities of the trading of crypto-currencies and the liabilities.
We can perceive from the ban that Valve might be having a problem with the idea of crypto-games, in general- they’re already really hand-off as a company. Especially with their items from CS: GO and TF2 as examples. While a lot of people question that the only purpose of NFTs in video games is being able to sell them? It seems to be that it doesn’t add anything, since while you can always hold the NFT if the developer finds out you exploited a bug or something to get it, they can just remove the association between that token and the in-game item on their end, effectively deleting it. The whole NFT thing does have a pro-consumer potential to it, but that it’ll be buried by the current low-effort unworthy issues. We can hope that after this first wave comes and goes, someone who likes games will find a way to implement it properly for once.
Valve would have allowed blockchain games and NFTs on steam if they operated similar to Valve’s current system but crypto is too volatile and risks prone and NFT has too many scams. Valve is far from perfect but regardless of their reason, we can say in the end, it is a good decision.