Valve has issued an update to Steam‘s rules that forbids blockchain-based games, which allow NFT and crypto trading. The developer says Valve is removing blockchain games ‘because NFTs have value.’
Studio SpacePirate Games said Thursday on Twitter that Valve would remove all blockchain games from the Steam platform. A screenshot of Steam’s developer rules and guidelines attached to the post indicated that games “built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” could not be distributed on the storefront.
“Steam’s point of view is that items have value, and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform,” said developer SpacePirate Games.
It’s unclear how many games already on Steam will be affected. Searching for “NFT” and “crypto” turns up 14 and 64 results, respectively. Although, not all of those necessarily allow real-world trading. For example, Crypto Mining Simulator lets you pretend you’re mining cryptocurrency just for fun.
Valve’s concern over in-game items having real-world value may stem in part from gambling laws in its home state of Washington. In 2018, the Ninth Circuit of US Court of Appeals ruled that virtual chips in the social casino game Big Fish Casino qualified as “a thing of value” under Washington law, which made the game itself an illegal gambling operation.
As recently reported, NFT sales volume surged 700% in Q3, hitting new highs of $10.7 billion. The increase was powered by a record-breaking August that saw over $5.2 billion in trades. According to DappRadar’s data, also surged NFT-powered games, such as the blockchain-based game Axie Infinity, the leader of the “play-to-earn” sector with $776 million in Q3 revenues.