In October last year, Steam banned blockchain-based games that used NFT and cryptocurrency, stating that “apps based on blockchain technology that issue or enable the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” will not be allowed on the platform. Now, Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell has explained the company’s stance on the matter.
The NFT or “Non-Fungible Token”, which is a certificate of ownership for a digital item, has slowly made its way into the world of video games. The highly controversial concept of NFTs has been the subject of much debate since they began to be instilled in the second half of 2021.
Blockchain-based play-to-earn gaming has been a hotly debated topic that has sparked community apprehension.
Although the idea is reasonable, Gabe Newell explains the reasoning behind banning NFT and cryptocurrency on Steam
In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Gabe mentioned that while “the technology behind distributed ledgers, and the notion of digital ownership and shared universes, are all pretty reasonable,” you have to separate the technology from the players who are using this.
According to him, the NFT space is full of people you wouldn’t want to do business with. Previously, Steam accepted cryptocurrencies as payment, but Gabe pointed out that this drove customers crazy, the reason being the volatility that surrounded Steam listings.
“They don’t want to find out that there’s huge volatility when they buy things day to day. For example, why did I spend $497 one day to buy a game, and the next day I spent $47 cents, what’s up Volatility is a bad thing in a medium of exchange.
Gabe further explained that a majority of these transactions turned out to be fraudulent, “where people were repudiating the transactions or using illegal sources of funds and things like that.” According to him, the stakes are not with the technology but rather with the actors who use it.
“It doesn’t say anything about the technology behind it, it’s just a reflection of people currently viewing it as an opportunity to scam customers, or engage in money laundering, or other things like that. .”
Steam’s decision to ban games with NFT and cryptocurrency was followed by Epic Games, making it clear that they “will welcome games that use blockchain technology.” Although a number of outfits, including STALKER 2, changed their stances after receiving backlash from the community, studios like Ubisoft and Square Enix have backed NFTs as the future of video games.