Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Let’s speak about a gaming fault line that’s just starting to show up, and one that I believe will affect nearly every platform and app store in the near future. It’s a simple question: will your platform support NFTs? Do you accept cryptocurrency payments? Know anything about the blockchain?

There is no doubt that non-fungible tokens have been a significant storey in the IT sector in 2021, whether you like it or not. It is possible to create unique digital things with verifiable, transferable ownership through the use of the blockchain. It appears, at least for the time being, that other media will follow suit.

NFTs are creating a Generational

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how NFTs are testing the current generation’s ideas about gaming: developing a game from the bottom up rather than the top down; or allowing players to make money directly from their playtime, like Axie Infinity is. Axie’s parent company’s chief operating officer, Aleksander Larsen, told me that he thinks the game will be available in the next few months on mobile app stores, including Apple’s.

This became clear on Friday, when it became apparent that such sports would not be welcomed in all areas of the country. Here at The Verge, we have Mitchell Clark:.

A restriction updated to Valve’s “What you shouldn’t publish on Steam” list states that games that leverage blockchain technology or allow users to swap NFTs or cryptocurrencies will not be allowed on Steam. An NFT-based game developer, SpacePirate, noticed the change and said it was due to the company’s policy of not allowing in-game objects with potential real-world worth.

If you’ve never heard of Steam, it’s the world’s biggest distributor of PC gaming software. Over 120 million people visit the site every month, making it the primary source of digital downloads for PC gamers. That’s what happened last week, when some blockchain-based games started to debut on Steam. A statement from Valve, the firm’s parent company, has yet to be made.

NFT-based puzzle-solving game Age of Rust was among the titles that were pulled from the platform by the game’s developer. Lamenting the decision of SpacePirate Games, the developer.

According to the game’s official Twitter account, “Steam’s point of view is the value of items and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform.” In spite of the fact that I appreciate their decision, I still feel that NFTs and blockchain games are the future. Why did I begin this adventure with you all?,” I asked myself.

One app store door may close, but another may open as time passes. Fortnite’s maker, Epic Titles, established a Steam competitor in 2018 and claimed it is “open” to NFT-based games. Clark is back:

There will be certain constraints, but Epic said it’s eager to engage with “early developers” in the “new field” when we asked about permitting games featuring NFTs.

There must be a clear explanation of how the blockchain is utilised and proper age ratings, Epic believes. Epic’s payment service will not allow developers to take cryptocurrency; instead, they must utilise their own payment methods.


The blockchain is used to track the ownership of NFTs, making it possible to trade in and sell them. “Non-fungible token” is an acronym for “non-redeemable token,” and it may be used to store anything digital, from animated GIFs to tunes to gaming stuff. It’s possible for an NFT to be one of one, like a genuine painting, or one of many, like a deck of cards, but the blockchain records who owns the file.

With high-profile memes such as Nyan Cat and “deal with it” sunglasses going up for auction, NFTs have been making news recently. NFTs are also the subject of much debate because of their high electricity consumption and potential negative effects on the environment. The FAQ section of our NFT website is here if you still have queries.

Tim Sweeney, Epic’s CEO, seemed to have given up on the blockchain just a few weeks before to this announcement. “As the entire area is currently tangled up with an intractable combination of scammers, interesting decentralised tech foundations, and scams,” he tweeted, “we aren’t handling NFTs.”

When Sweeney claims that NFTs are a hoax, he’s in the mainstream of tech opinion. When I wrote about Axie last week, many of you in the Sidechannel Discord server and in your email answers shared similar sentiments with me. This NFT stuff is just a pyramid scheme, you reasoned, so why is it on blockchains at all? There are alternatives to the blockchain for representing digital scarcity, you informed me.

Regardless, playing a Pokémon clone for several hours a day to gain money doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to most people. No, you can’t even call it a game if you’re doing it full time.

Accordingly, construction continues despite those objections. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being awarded to cryptocurrency-focused companies and VC funds every day in a new round of financing announcements for blockchain-based ventures. For the first time, crypto projects with a user base that isn’t just interested in exchanging money are frequently mentioned in these announcements. If a firm licences Axie monsters to players in exchange for a cut of their profits.

As a result, platforms will find themselves in a similar position to that of Steam. Is it okay if these items are allowed into the store? “No” is a simple answer, but it provides an opportunity for anyone who is prepared to accept it.

In-game item sales have had a tumultuous history, to be sure. To allow players to trade their rare weapons and armour, Blizzard’s blockbuster dungeon crawler Diablo III set up an official in-game auction house a decade ago. Unlike NFTs, these things were rare and had a real-world market value. Blizzard, on the other hand, discovered that its auction house had broken the entire game: players could now simply pay to win it.

The following is an article by Bo Moore in Wired from 2013, the year the auction house closed:

There aren’t any more dungeons, bosses, or anything like that in Diablo. The game’s progression is a series of more challenging levels, with better and better rewards at the end of each one. This means that loot is more than simply a way for them to achieve their ultimate goal – better loot is the final aim. When it came to the auction house, gamers discovered that the best way to acquire it was to simply buy it. […]

And before you know it, they’re no longer participating in the game. Since there was no longer a reason for them to participate, why would they? Diablo was all stick and no carrot without the promise of better items.

The most despised games are those that include a “pay to win” nature, but they’re still present. It’s not uncommon for mobile games that provide free downloads to allow users who are willing to pay to obtain an advantage over those who aren’t. More reputable games, like as Fortnite, limit their in-game purchases to cosmetics. However, the pay-to-win economy is a reality.

Of course, third-party NFTs purchased in-game don’t have to give gamers an edge in terms of gameplay. If a popular artist creates a unique Fortnite skin, both the seller and the buyer will benefit, and the balance of gameplay will not be affected.

Many obstacles remain to be overcome on the policy and user experience front, even for blockchain-friendly platforms. What and where are the methods and venues for the exchange of goods and services? How much money does the platform take? And how does the developer ensure that the game is fair and accessible to a wide number of players if NFTs affect gameplay as well as aesthetics?

Given a Choice When It Comes To Platforms

It’s easy to imagine these questions popping up elsewhere in the new economy, but they’re starting with games for now. It’s a choice that platforms will have to make when the crypto frenzy reaches a fever pitch: shut it all down, as Steam did, or be inquisitive about it, as Epic is, and see if there’s a way to channel all this developer passion into something creative and profitable.

For those who believe in this year’s second big tech prediction—the metaverse—the majority of important names in the tech sector support NFT integration. For Facebook employees last summer, Mark Zuckerberg imagined a future where individuals could rent NFT paintings for virtual reality parties. It is common knowledge among futurists that the metaverse will be built on the concept of custom NFT skins that people may use to personalise their virtual personas and transport them from one location to another.

All of that may, theoretically, end up in the sea as well. However, I believe that digital scarcity will soon be a reality on the networks themselves. Then, when it happens, they’ll have to re-evaluate everything. At least for the time being, leaving NFTs behind benefits Valve. Although firms like Valve may find themselves left behind, developers like SpacePirate may soon be laughing all the way to their bank accounts.

By Adam

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