Valve’s Steam is a digital store where you can buy video games. As a means for Valve to provide automatic game updates, it was made available as a separate software client in September 2003. Later, it was expanded to include the distribution and marketing of games by independent game developers. Steam offers social networking and game streaming services, digital rights management (DRM), game server matching, and anti-cheat features. It provides cloud synchronisation of stored games, automated game updates, and social features including messaging your pals, in-game chatting, and a community marketplace.

Around 4.3 billion dollars had been spent on games by Steam users as of 2017, which accounted for at least 18% of all PC game sales worldwide. After becoming live in 2003, Steam had 120 million active daily users by the end of 2020, more than 60 million daily gamers, and sizable audiences in Asia and the US. According to estimates, Steam has a market share of 75% for PC games, underscoring its overwhelming power in the videogame sector.

Steam Bans Blockchain Games and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTSs)

The usage of blockchain games and NFTs on Steam was discreetly banned in October 2021. The move by Steam raises additional concerns regarding the effects of NFTs for the video game industry.

The most recent advancement in blockchain technology is called “Non-Fungible Tokens,” or NFTs. In general, NFTs are “digital certificates” that are typically used to represent digital assets and media and are kept on the blockchain.

Valve, the corporation that makes Steam, discreetly modified its policies regarding studio partners’ content. It is now explicitly forbidden to use programmes “based on blockchain technology that issue or assist the trade of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.”

Under the outlined requirements, it should still be possible to publish blockchain-based games on Steam as long as they don’t have crypto/NFT trading or “play-to-earn” features. Theoretically, Valve’s new restriction would not apply to other blockchain-based gaming apps, such as those that use distinctive in-game items associated with a certain player.

Blockchain technology will no longer be allowed in Steam’s games, putting an end to the notion that non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which represent gaming assets, would someday be widely used or will become conventional.

Why Is Steam Banning NFTs?

According to President and co-founder Gabe Newell, the justification of the decision was based on two main concerns: the volatility of cryptocurrencies and the unscrupulous actors driving NFTs.

In an interview, Newell said it’s critical to distinguish malicious users from the NFT technology. He asserted that shared worlds and digital ownership are good ideas in and of themselves, but that any potential advantages are outweighed by the bad actors in the NFT community.

“The people in the space, though, tend to be involved in a lot of criminal activity and a lot of sketchy behaviors,” he said. “So it’s much more about the actors than it is about the underlying technology.”

He continues by saying that these aren’t the kinds of people Valve wants. According to him, the market is crowded with individuals who take advantage of NFTs to defraud clients or participate in money laundering.

Furthermore, the extreme volatility that accompanied cryptocurrency payments when Steam accepted them was an issue for consumers. Customers don’t want prices to vary too much when they’re buying everyday things. “Like, why did I spend $497 one day to buy a game, and the next day I spent 47 cents, what’s going on here? Volatility is a bad thing in a medium of exchange,” he explained.

Read Also: Sell Steam Gift Cards In Nigeria

Wrapping Up

The strongest argument in favour of Steam introducing blockchain games is that it will increase legitimacy and dissemination. However, that is advantageous to game creators that choose not to help Steam with any significant regulatory issues. It’s understandable why Steam is being cautious until more clarity is made known, but the gaming company has the ability to be a pioneer in this area and help legitimise blockchain games for the regular player.

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