Valve has banned titles featuring blockchain technology such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from its popular digital PC game storefront Steam.

The company’s onboarding rules for game developers on Steam now states applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs may not be published.

Engadget reported that the rule was added after 6 October 2021, as cached versions of the page until this date did not include it.

One example of these titles is the sci-fi adventure game Age of Rust, which rewards NFTs to players who can solve certain puzzles.

The game’s developer, SpacePirate Games, stated Valve added the rule because NFTs had value, and Steam does not allow players to trade items with real-world value in games.

“While I respect their choice, I fundamentally believe that NFTs and blockchain games are the future,” SpacePirate stated.

Steam does allow players to trade virtual goods like character and weapons skins for Steam Wallet funds that can be used to buy games or items from the Steam Store, so the developer’s reason for the removal is contentious.

It’s more likely that Steam believes allowing cryptocurrency and NFTs could expose players to scams or even be viewed as a form of gambling on its platform. The latter is strictly regulated in many of the jurisdictions where Steam is available.

SpacePirate now plans to take its game to another platform, with its Steam page showing the title is now “coming soon”.

A screenshot from Age of Rust

One option could be Epic Games, which has told The Verge it is open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney previously said the company would not touch NFTs, but this only seems to apply to its own games and not third-party titles available on its storefront.

In response to The Verge’s article on the company’s amicability to blockchain tech, Sweeney elaborated further:

“Epic Games 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,” he said.

“Though Epic’s not using crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance.”

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