As Steam heads off blockchain games, the Epic Games Store welcomes them

    
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At this point in my life, I don’t fully understand how cryptocurrency and NFTs work, but there’s no shortage of explainers out there, and even I know that they’re controversial, unstable, and detrimental to video games, which is why I gave a solemn nod of approval to hear that Valve was taking steps to block NFT games from its platform.

It’s also why I’m giving a disappointed slow shake of my head in the direction of Epic Game Store, which appears to be totally open to selling out allowing NFT into its realm. The studio told The Verge that it is “open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets” with some limitations. Epic has a self-publishing program that’s going through testing right now.

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

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Eugeniu INFO

I do embrace this decision, but only conditionally. There are a lot of schemes out there using the “game” label to hide the real nature of their application. A game should be a good game first, independent of its powering backbone. If it is just a trash pile with a game skin, oriented only at making money for developers based on user tradings, that´s not a true game. If it is a game oriented on the gameplay first, whether it is powered up by the blockchain or other mechanisms, then I am OK with it.
At the same time, the publishers should embrace the fight against money laundering. With great power comes great responsibility, as some say. This responsibility assumes proper governance, appropriate controls, and dedicated staff.
Speaking in general, I can see lots of benefits to blockchain games. For once, players could earn money while playing their favourite game. Again, assuming that the game itself is good.
Finally, I do hope that Epic, as well as any other platform embracing blockchain games, will be able to filter out trash games from good games.
We`ll have to wait and see.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Epic again proves it has no integrity of any kind. And, they again make Steam look good.

There exclusives shenanigans were enough to keep me off the platform and if there were any doubts about its lack of ethical standards, embracing NFTs and cryptocurrency seals it.

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Jack Pipsam

I suppose you can somewhat allow the blockchain but still ban NFT games, although then again I suppose it’s all part of the same problem and if a game popular could easily accelerate the blockchain bloat beyond even the impact of NFTs.

While on some level I can understand being excited about the blockchain in terms of what it can do, now’s the time to take a step back and address the major issues of power consumption, not to pile on the current form where it’s getting well out of control.
Not to mention the unavoidable intense high-risk of scams or even money laundering.

Steam is smart to ban them.

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laelgon

Is there an operating Crypto NFT Blockchain Buzzword Buzzword game (being very generous with the word “game”) that isn’t an outright scam?

They all seem to be some variant of pushing people to buy in now with real money on the premise that they’ll be able to make real money at some later date from their initial investment and by playing the game. Now that in and of itself sounds like a recipe for a bad time since it’s workifying a game, but is ok, there are plenty of bad games out there. The real issue is that they all seem to be promising the most amazing game ever made with the biggest scope. We’re talking tiny, brand new studios staffed by developers with questionable qualifications saying they’re going to make games orders of magnitude more ambitious than Star Citizen. There’s no way to eye that and not see massive red flags.

Eliot Lefebvre
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Eliot Lefebvre

There’s a great thread from Dan Olson diving into all of this:

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I wonder how that all is going to work out for Epic if they allow a game that’s set up to use the players as (possibly undisclosed) volunteer cyrpto-mining bots? I can’t find an example, but I know there have been a couple of freakouts over games on Steam when people found evidence that some apparently “low effort asset flip” was actually a crypto miner.

I think in the short term, this is just Sweeny taking the chance to piss in Valve’s Wheaties again. And that he’s going to have to walk that back a bit when someone runs it past Legal and they point out all the “well, actually…” reasons.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Looking at some of the other tweets on that account, he mentioned a really terrifying idea. “Oxygen Not Included” somehow getting swtiched to an NFT/blockchain model. I just… I can’t…

EmberStar
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EmberStar

From one of the tweets:

“Imagine if you could rent another player your sword!”

Now imagine a game where you need to rent your sword.

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kalech

NFTs are such a massive, massive negative impact on the planet and I’m sick of seeing them tbh.

Interesting that Steam is suddenly able to moderate their platform. They certainly told us they weren’t able to do anything about all the nazi, hentai and simply unfinished, unplayable games that are on it.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

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Arktouros

Haha perfect.

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Boe_Jlobers

I came here to make some snide comment about Epic. No point, cannot top this, bravo.

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Chris Neal

This one needs to win the award for end-of-year. Full stop

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

Thanks for the link to the Verge article, Syp. It was extremely informative although, like you, I still can’t really say I understand how it works. I know a lot more than I did fifteen minutes ago, though.

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IronSalamander8 .

Steam is far from perfect but this makes me glad I’ve not bothered with Epic after using it for Fortnite when we were teaming up to play the save the world part of that game, so a couple years now.

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Brinto Sfj

I think it is a reasonable approach, so long as they follow procedure and aren’t scam games like Earth2, there is no reason to block them from any platform. I mean you are already allowing shady gambling games that have been proven to harm people.

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Jetra_Virsai

“Epic isn’t using Crypto” …yet.

Can’t wait to hear how Steam is evil and vile and promised to let everybody in.

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Brinto Sfj

Even Steam will soon start allowing people to buy games with crypto, it is only a matter of time. The blockchain based games however are a different story. Most of them don’t even exist! Yet they are selling lands and whatnot in their nonexistent games, they are literally ruining the crypto market by creating a very negative view of the currency among the traders.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Why is it only a matter of time? I don’t keep up with Crypto (for a bunch of reasons that aren’t worth explaining.) But the last I heard, even turning it back into spendable currency was a huge expensive hassle. (You had to pay to open an account, pay to transfer the funds, pay to turn it into real money, and pay to extract it.)

And no, as far as I know there is no form of cyrpto that would be considered a usable currency for a normal person. If I went to my local grocery store and tried to pay with BitCoin, the *best* possible result would be “Fine. You go do all of *that.* And come back with actual cash. And I do mean CASH.”

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cursedseishi

You don’t see it used because no sane, remotely intelligent person (or business) would accept it. For the tiny minority of people that may use Crypto to pay for something, the hassle isn’t worth it at all.

And it’s precisely because Crypto is worth literal trash. Wyrmwood Gaming, as an example, decided to dabble in accepting Crypto Currency for their big ticket items. Practically nobody used it to buy them. One person did, but the second said currency doubled in value? They demanded a refund immediately.

Not in cash, mind you, as any sane person would expect. But in the exact amount of Crypto currency paid for. They spent, at the time, $20k worth of Crypto–but when that Crypto currency doubled in value? That person expected them to refund them $40k as a result.

Idiots and Scammers are the only ones championing Crypto. The former think its their ticket into easy money, and the latter pump (or create their own) markets in order to trick the former into buying in so they can get their payday.

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Bruno Brito

You can’t buy a fucking burger with it.

I keep wondering if there even is any way that these “silent crypto billionaires” can actually convert that into real money and make something in real lives. The more i think about it, the more i think that only scammers, already well off techbros and really naive idiots get into this.