Recently, Steam had expressed concerns about the “real world value” of NFT elements based on SpacePirate Games’ Age of Rust. As a result of this development, Valve‘s publishing platform banned NFT games.
Shortly after the ban, a letter addressed to Valve was published on the website of the Fight for the Future platform. The title of the letter, published under the leadership of Fight for the Future, Enjin and The Blockchain Game Alliance trio and with the participation of 26 other companies, is stated as “OPEN LETTER TO VALVE: DON’T BAN WEB3 GAMES“. In the letter, the coalition of companies is asking Valve to lift the NFT ban on Steam.
Blockchain games provide income to people with the play-to-earn model. This income level can be at a level that can be a source of livelihood for people in some parts of the world. For this reason, games of the genre have been rising lately and are getting more and more popular each day. The NFT game genre, which can be considered quite new, provides a different and diverse interaction between players by using in-game tokens. Coalition companies claim that their products are more decentralized, democratic and player-friendly, thanks to the cryptocurrency logic that the games are based on. In the letter they published, NFT game companies say that it is wrong for a giant platform like Steam to use its power to bring down this brand new category of games.
In response to Steam’s concerns, SpacePirate Games’ CEO Chris LoVerme said his company’s unique digital asset and NFT system uses a transparent and clean blockchain. He stated that they are already working on the issue together with Valve. Valve’s concern stems from gambling laws. In particular, Washington laws include games with real-life monetary rewards in the scope of gambling.
The letter published by the coalition is as follows:
“To Valve Corporation:
Fight for the Future, Enjin, and The Blockchain Game Alliance, along with 26 blockchain game companies, call on Valve to reverse their ban on web3 technologies on the Steam platform, such as blockchain games and NFTs.
Games that utilize blockchain technology and web3 token-based technologies like DAOs and NFTs can positively enhance the user experience of games and create new economic opportunities for users and creators. Tokens, in particular, open up vast possibilities for users to interact, collaborate, and create tangible digital worlds and items that were previously impossible. These enhancements make games more decentralized, democratic, interactive, player-focused systems. They also present an opportunity to streamline and modernize intellectual property rights in ways that would greatly benefit both independent creators and established corporations. These innovations would bring with them enhancements to music distribution, book publishing, collectibles, and more.
Valve is recognized for its willingness to experiment and innovate, not only with its games but with the Steam platform itself. Considered as pioneers for changing how gamers sell and trade digital game items over a decade ago, Valve likely understands the impact that a more concrete medium would facilitate. In the spirit of that pioneering vision, we ask that you take a chance on this rapidly growing technology: remember your roots, let the industry prove itself as a positive contributor to the overall gaming ecosystem, and reverse your decision to prohibit an entire category of software from the Steam platform.
“Blockchain games are pioneering a number of new concepts that will invigorate the gaming industry for players and publishers alike. To cut off this burgeoning sector at such a crucial stage of development is to ignore the remarkable progress we have achieved this year while creating unfair access to the market for incumbents. We wish to invite an open dialogue with the people at Valve, as well as the broader mainstream gaming industry, to better understand their perspectives on the challenges ahead, and to determine how we can collaborate more effectively in future.” – Sebastien Borget, President, Blockchain Game Alliance
“Decentralization with cryptocurrency is often misunderstood and viewed as a threat to the status quo. In the case of players owning NFT gaming assets, closed platforms see it as competition. The narrative from those walled gardens regarding blockchain technologies is similar—it’s either not in line with their core model, or the technology is simply labeled a larger risk. The future of gaming is decentralized player-owned assets, where gamers are valued for their time and efforts spent in-game. Whether that’s an NFT or another asset class, change is happening.” – Chris LoVerme, CEO of SpacePirate Games
Valve, Web3 games are a fast-moving and exciting category of games that have a place within the Steam ecosystem. Please consider changing your stance on this issue and permit tokens and, more broadly, the use of blockchain tech on the Steam platform. Don’t ban blockchain-based games on Steam.