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Backlash to game publisher’s blockchain ban


In an open letter to the game developer Valve, a consortium of blockchain companies, NFT firms and the online rights group Fight for the Future, have called for a lifting of the ban on blockchain on the Steam platform.

In a quiet, surprise move, Valve had brought in a ban on blockchain-based games through a change to its terms, adding to the list of prohibited content to be published on Steam, detailing “applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.”

Unsurprisingly, the move has resulted in a backlash that prompted a rival, Epic Games, to confirm that it was accepting of such offerings, provided they “follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group.”

Leading the charge to overturn the ban, Fight for the Future, a not for profit focused on digital rights and privacy, argues that technologies such as NFTs can “create new economic opportunities for users and creators.”

“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,” says the open letter. “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, collectables, and more.”

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