Epic informs The verge it’s open to games that support cryptocurrency and blockchain-based assets on its game store. This is unlike Valve , which has prohibited games that use blockchain technology or NFTs. Epic said that there would be limitations to allowing NFT-based games, but it was willing to work with “early development teams” in the “new field “.
Epic states that games must comply with financial laws and make clear how blockchain is used. Epic also states that developers will not be allowed to use Epic’s payment system to accept crypto. Instead, they would need to use their own payment systems.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney stated that the company isn’t interested touching NFTs ,, but this statement seems to be limited to its games. The verge was informed by Epic that the company will clarify the rules with developers as they work to understand how they intend to use blockchain technology in their games. Sweeney also tweeted additional thoughts after publishing this story. He said Epic welcomes innovation in the areas technology and finance and suggested that blockchain is not inherently good or evil.
The blockchain technology is a distributed transactional system with a decentralized business model. This incentivizes investment in hardware to increase the database’s storage capacity. It is useful regardless of whether a specific use fails or succeeds.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 15, 2021
None of this means that developers spurned by Steam can rush out and throw their game up 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 shown itself to be a fairly permissive platform owner — something that became a point of contention in its trial with Apple when lawyers brought up the “offensive and sexualized” games that were available on Itch.io, a game store accessible on Epic’s game store.
Allowing games that Steam bans is another way that Epic could compete with Valve. Epic has already shown that it’s willing to make big bets trying to make its store a major player in the PC gaming space, and this could be another play to get some gamers or developers on its side. After the Steam news broke, some NFT enthusiasts immediately turned to Epic. Enjin, a company that helps developers integrate NFTs into their products (including SpacePirate, who tweeted about their game being taken off of Steam) retweeted our Steam article, and tagged Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, asking to talk. They now have at least one question answered.
Update October 15th, 9: 10PM ET: Added tweet from Tim Sweeney.