The epic tells The edge that it is “open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets” on its game store, unlike its competitor Valve which has banned games using blockchain technology or Steam NFTs. When we asked to allow games with NFTs, Epic told us there would be limitations, but they were willing to work with the “early developers” in the “new area”.
Epic says games should comply with financial laws, make it clear how blockchain is used, and have an appropriate age rating. It also states that developers will not be able to use Epic’s payment service to accept crypto; instead, they should use their own payment systems.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has said the company is not interested in touching NFTs, but that statement now appears to only apply to its own games. The epic tells The edge that it will clarify the rules by working with developers to understand how they plan to use blockchain technology in their games. Sweeney also tweeted some more thoughts after posting this story: he says Epic welcomes “innovation in tech and finance” and suggests blockchain isn’t inherently good or bad.
As a technology, blockchain is just a distributed transactional database with a decentralized business model that prompts investment in hardware to expand the capacity of the database. This has utility whether a particular use succeeds or fails.
– Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 15, 2021
None of this means developers rejected by Steam can rush in and launch their game on the Epic Game Store. Currently, Epic’s self-publishing program is in closed beta, and Epic’s FAQ says it chooses who can join on a “case-by-case” basis. Epic, however, has proven to be a fairly permissive platform owner – which became a point of contention in its lawsuit with Apple when lawyers raised the “offensive and sexualized” games available on Itch.io, a accessible game store. on Epic’s game store.
Allowing games banned by Steam is another way for Epic to compete with Valve. Epic has already shown that it is ready to make big bets in trying to make its store a major player in the PC gaming space, and this could be another game to rally some players or developers. Some NFT fans immediately turned to Epic after the news broke from Steam. Enjin, a company that helps developers integrate NFTs into their products (including SpacePirate, which tweeted about removing their game from Steam) retweeted our Steam article, and tagged Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, asking to speak. Now it looks like they’ve answered at least one question.
Update October 15 at 9:10 p.m. ET: Added a tweet from Tim Sweeney.