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Valve bans all blockchain games, EGS is open to working with developers who follow rules

cormack12

Gold Member
Source: https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/15/22728425/valve-steam-blockchain-nft-crypto-ban-games-age-of-rust
Source: https://www.pcgamer.com/uk/steam-bans-nfts-cryptocurrencies-blockchain/



What are Blockchain Games?

Most people are aware that blockchain is a new paradigm for information exchange and app creation, but they may be less aware that blockchain is also positioned to shake up the gaming industry. Games built on top of public blockchains have an immense opportunity, and early incarnation of blockchain-based games are already showing their potential.

Traditional gaming platforms create closed loops in terms of development: no one from the outside can build a different version of it, see the core logic or use existing data (assets). In blockchain, most of the core logic and data (assets) is governed by smart contracts, and that can be analyzed and reused.

Blockchain games are decentralized. Instead of living in a centrally controlled server, blockhain game assets an digital goods are distributed among ‘players’. Blockchain games either issue their own token or use an existing token. With well designed token economics and gameplay, blockchain games are starting a new era in the gaming industry.

Tokenomics— Tokenomics does not exist in other types of gaming platforms. Tokenomics create different interest groups in a network, which enables different properties of game theory. Using tokens to design incentives or create new assets give immense power to the blockchain games.

Decentralization - Anyone can analyze the code used in blockchain games. This brings transparency and puts players and creators on the same side. No one has control over the outcomes of the game. If the developer tries to do an update not supported by the community, the game can be forked and different versions can be built.


Benefits and Potential of Blockchain Games
Blockchain games have immense potential and solve some real core problem around game asset management. For example sharing collectibles of one game into another.

Let's understand some major benefits of blockchain games.

1- Reusable Game Assets
I was playing PUBG recently, a multiplayer mobile, and desktop games and collected some cool accessories but those accessories are unusable and invaluable outside of the game. That's a big problem in conventional games. As blockchain collectibles live on distributed open database represented by tokens, this means this can be reused outside of the game and there are marketplaces like Rarebits Rare Bits and Opensea OpenSea , where you can buy and sell these collectibles.

This opens the door for new possibilities as these tokens can be reused in bootstrapping liquidity or raking in new games. A player is not bound to any particular game and value spend is not lost outside the game.

2- Transparency and Incentives
Blockchains are open and verifiable, this really helps in betting games as a player don’t want to trust anyone. Also, game rules and incentive mechanism can verifiable by anyone. This reduces chances for scams.

Using real asset create real-world incentives, which makes blockchain games different from other platforms. How many times did you earn real money playing games? Because of inbuilt incentivization. it’s easier to build games which pay on the blockchain.

3- Aligned Developer — Player Interests
If developers can no longer change the rules of the games easily, it becomes more difficult to exploit existing users to make money. This trust component to blockchain games makes will benefit both developers, new users, and loyal players. With blockchain-based games, players and creators are on a team.

4- Unstoppable Games
Conventional games run on the centralized server. They can be shut down for various reasons. I remember that I used to play Deamon souls, whose online servers shut down recently.




Shortsighted by Valve? Either way based on Blockchain games, we can all look forward to Peter Molyneuxs next project I'm sure.
 

Trimesh

Banned
Shortsighted by Valve? Either way based on Blockchain games, we can all look forward to Peter Molyneuxs next project I'm sure.

No, not at all. Sure, not everything involving blockchain or NFTs is a scam, but a huge number of them are. Allowing this stuff would force them into doing due diligence on things and open them up to potential liability if they let something scammy through. From a "cover your ass" perspective, just entirely banning all this stuff is exactly the right thing to do.
 
Valve is not against games using blockchain, they're against games that distribute or exchange cryptocurrency and NFTs, as that in turn leads to scams, gambling, and money laundering schemes, and they want to stay away from that.

I mean yes, they also do it because they have their own Marketplace and they'd much rather that people use that instead of external markets, but it's also quite simply legal coverage. I'm pretty sure if Valve facilitates NFTs it'd have to register Steam as a banking organization in some countries.

Pretty good move by Valve in my opinion. I want my games as far removed from real-world crap as possible, be it product placement, social justice wars, politics, or economics.
 
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It's also worth noting Epic CEO Tim Sweeney's opinion as of two-something weeks ago:

And also, can we get some mods to change the title? To specifically say Valve is banning NFT and crypto games, not "blockchain games".

Over in the Steamworks onboarding documentation is the exact phrasing of the new rule saying that you shouldn't publish on Steam:
https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/gettingstarted/onboarding said:
13. Applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.
 
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wipeout364

Member
I honestly didn’t see any positive arguments for me the consumer in the OP and certainly none for the developers of games I enjoy. How many games have developers that want their games to be be open source and forked? Also who in their right mind wants to put money into building assets only for anybody to be able to access them for free?

This thought process smells like garbage tier games we see in steam all the time. Also decentralized computing is a pipe dream, somebody always ends up paying for CPU power and those costs are about to go nuclear with the upcoming self induced energy crisis occurring across the world.

I make these comments as someone who sees the possible value of crypto currency, Although I still don’t understand how it’s all going to play out. So I certainly wouldn’t call myself a blockchain hater.

edit: I will say thanks for making this thread I actually had no idea this was a thing and it’s a very interesting discussion.
 
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reksveks

Member
It's also worth noting Epic CEO Tim Sweeney's opinion as of two-something weeks ago:
I understand why people might think there is a contradiction but there isn't really.

1) Tim Sweeney is both the CEO of a game developer and a platform holder
2) You can have personal positions on topics than you understand how others don't and therefore don't infringe on their rights/freedom.

I personally don't think that there is a need for NFT's in games and largely its a money making scheme
 

Amiga

Member
I honestly didn’t see any positive arguments for me the consumer in the OP.

With blockchain the digital items you buy would still have value. because they could be made finite and transferable. the items could also increase in value.
otherwise what you buy is worth 0 because the game has infinite amounts for anyone willing to pay.
 

wipeout364

Member
With blockchain the digital items you buy would still have value. because they could be made finite and transferable. the items could also increase in value.
otherwise what you buy is worth 0 because the game has infinite amounts for anyone willing to pay.
This is an interesting take but do you want to live in a world where when you make an in game purchase it’s considered an asset. I see some interesting possibilities there but I also see a very big downside in that it will result in initial prices becoming very high very quickly. I think I prefer the current system where when I make a purchase it’s disposable. Look at the CS go marketplace to see how out of control prices became.
 

Trimesh

Banned
With blockchain the digital items you buy would still have value. because they could be made finite and transferable. the items could also increase in value.
otherwise what you buy is worth 0 because the game has infinite amounts for anyone willing to pay.

How does that work though? If you are talking about within a specific game then using tokens of any kind is unnecessary - because the item effectively is a token. If you are talking about interchangeability between different games (I.E. the horse armor you buy in one game being available in another) then the amount of background work that needs to be done to support it across various platforms is orders of magnitude larger than the actual payment system.

At that point, "blockchain" is just an implementation decision and one of a very large number of options. It's certainly not something you should ever start the process with a stated intent to use because methods should always be derived from requirements and not just selected at random.
 
I remember crypto bros raving about how the blockchain was gonna be running the whole world within a couple of years back during the first crypto boom. It's been a couple of years and as far as I can tell the only thing it turned out to be good for was driving up consumer hardware prices, wasting enormous amounts of electricity and scamming people out of their money. Doubt that's gonna be changing anytime soon.
 

BigBooper

Member
Isn't there a security vulnerability to these blockchain programs? We've seen the cryptocurrencies be manipulated and hacked by bad actors and they had millions of people with a real interest in keeping it stable and secure.

What hope do we have when Steam is already flooded with thousands of different games a year. Even if the code is accessible, are there enough interested people to keep all that above board? I doubt it. I think it's a dumb idea.
 

jaysius

Member
Blockchain games involve paying REAL MONEY for these assets, something that was left out of the OP, these are THE WORST scam type F2P type bullshit game type.


If you can get through that video without puking you earn an Internet Cookie[INC](My new crypto*! Get in on the ground FLOOR BABY!).

This entire genre sounds like it's for morons that watch 'tubers and think they can get rich like the 'tuber playing that's paid by the game they're playing AND children.

TL;DR: Don't waste your money on this, this is a newer harder to squash ponzi scheme.




*not a real crypto
 
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No, not at all. Sure, not everything involving blockchain or NFTs is a scam, but a huge number of them are. Allowing this stuff would force them into doing due diligence on things and open them up to potential liability if they let something scammy through. From a "cover your ass" perspective, just entirely banning all this stuff is exactly the right thing to do.

Not just scams. But out and out gambling is an issue.

The only reason the EU didn't slap a huge fine on Steam and other platforms engaged in loot boxes and other such systems is that they determined that the digital assets in question have no real-world value. The moment that changes, as with blockchain, it's all classed as gambling and Valve gets taken to the cleaners by regulators.
 
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Deanington

Member
I don't really get it. Sounds like the Diablo 3 auction house on steroids to me.

Yeah that was my thought at first, but a WOW auction house. Seems it can be broader, as far as purchasing power with tokens. Instead of being only able to purchase in game items you can use tokens to purchase items for other games or games outright?
 
Does this make it easier for cellphone games to 'asset flip'? I'm already amazed the number of games that are identical but with different skins being put out there as completely new games.
 

Amiga

Member
Blockchain games involve paying REAL MONEY for these assets,

You pay REAL MONEY when you buy the digital items in the 1st place.

This is an interesting take but do you want to live in a world where when you make an in game purchase it’s considered an asset.

Yes, it would be great if the things you buy retain value. as for prices they will be market driven. they could go high or low. this isn't essential stuff like food and water so no real harm is done.

How does that work though? If you are talking about within a specific game then using tokens of any kind is unnecessary - because the item effectively is a token. If you are talking about interchangeability between different games (I.E. the horse armor you buy in one game being available in another) then the amount of background work that needs to be done to support it across various platforms is orders of magnitude larger than the actual payment system.

At that point, "blockchain" is just an implementation decision and one of a very large number of options. It's certainly not something you should ever start the process with a stated intent to use because methods should always be derived from requirements and not just selected at random.

blockchain is supposed to make the process independent. so when you get items the publishers can't take them away or control who you give them to. hopefully this can be applied to the full games. so if a game like PT is out it can't be taken away. and you can sell it if you want.
 

Jeeves

Member
1- Reusable Game Assets
I was playing PUBG recently, a multiplayer mobile, and desktop games and collected some cool accessories but those accessories are unusable and invaluable outside of the game. That's a big problem in conventional games. As blockchain collectibles live on distributed open database represented by tokens, this means this can be reused outside of the game and there are marketplaces like Rarebits Rare Bits and Opensea OpenSea , where you can buy and sell these collectibles.

This opens the door for new possibilities as these tokens can be reused in bootstrapping liquidity or raking in new games. A player is not bound to any particular game and value spend is not lost outside the game.
So now asset flips are supposed to be a feature, I guess
 

Amiga

Member
so i read the OP but im still pretty lost on what a blockchain is. can someone explain it to me like im 5?
blockchain is a method to make digital items finite. no copy paste. and you can transfer the items to others. but you would lose them. and a fundamental part is that it's not centrally controlled. if something gets lost it's lost. nobody to complain to. it's how/why Bitcoin works.
 
blockchain is a method to make digital items finite. no copy paste. and you can transfer the items to others. but you would lose them. and a fundamental part is that it's not centrally controlled. if something gets lost it's lost. nobody to complain to. it's how/why Bitcoin works.
That one guy who forgot the password to a harddrive with a few hundred thousand dollars in cryptocurrency comes to mind.

You basically get a physical/digital object, with none of the benefits of the physical object save that it can't be copied (which is also a downside), all the downsides of a digital object, and none of the benefits save "it fits on a flashdrive or through a data cable". If you compare an NFT painting to a real painting, they can both be lost to physical harm, fire, or water (unless it's on a water-resistant flashdrive - remember that server rooms are also vulnerable, so cloud storage isn't immune), they can both be stolen (much more easily I might add, just through slightly different means if your store the NFT in a cloud drive), they can both be copied if you show them off (again, much more easily for the digital version), and the only upside is that the NFT is easier to carry around and share. With an NFT you can also forget the access code (like the guy with the disk full of dollars), lose it to a hardware fault (I imagine storage warehouses have a lower rate of spontaneous existence failure compared to flashdrives), or just have it suddenly devalue because someone made something better - real paintings have intrinsic value for collectors, digital art not so much.

So... yeah. NFTs. The future of something, certainly, but hopefully not games.
 

Trimesh

Banned
blockchain is supposed to make the process independent. so when you get items the publishers can't take them away or control who you give them to. hopefully this can be applied to the full games. so if a game like PT is out it can't be taken away. and you can sell it if you want.

I think you're missing the point - essentially "blockchain" is just a distributed ledger system. It works pretty well when the only information to be transmitted is a number - but for any data of non-trivial size, all it can hold is a token (hence the T in NFT), and the code that maps the token onto whatever it's supposed to represent is external to the blockchain.

So you might have your Captain Codpiece costume from Generic BR game #103 - but the only way it's going to be accepted in Generic BR game #134 is if the developers of the latter game have specific code to map that token to the in-game asset.

This is my biggest problem with the whole blockchain/NFT/DeFi thing - the people pushing these systems seem to be ascribing magical properties to them that they simply don't possess and relying on the general lack of understanding of the underlying principles preventing people from realizing this.
 

Amiga

Member
I think you're missing the point - essentially "blockchain" is just a distributed ledger system. It works pretty well when the only information to be transmitted is a number - but for any data of non-trivial size, all it can hold is a token (hence the T in NFT), and the code that maps the token onto whatever it's supposed to represent is external to the blockchain.

So you might have your Captain Codpiece costume from Generic BR game #103 - but the only way it's going to be accepted in Generic BR game #134 is if the developers of the latter game have specific code to map that token to the in-game asset.

This is my biggest problem with the whole blockchain/NFT/DeFi thing - the people pushing these systems seem to be ascribing magical properties to them that they simply don't possess and relying on the general lack of understanding of the underlying principles preventing people from realizing this.
blockchain doesn't have to be universal. AFAIK Bitcoin isn't interchangeable with other crypto currencies. it depends, in theory, Activision could make a blockchain that has items usable across multiple CoD games. but I think it can just be game centric. that would mean each game would have it's own economy.
In the future a standardized gameworld ecosystem could be developed. EA has a game engine and a digital store it could make this part of the engine.
 
So, Blockchain games are just targeting digital economies (value of game items purchased and all) but has nothing to do with improving game quality?

No thanks.
 

CuNi

Member
And on this day, nothing of value was lost.
All "Blockchain" based games I know about are Casinos and Gambling-Games or cell-phone level games.
While I don't want to say that the blockchain technology as a whole is bad, it is far from that, I just don't see any good reason for its incorporation into todays games.
 

Business

Member
You realize Valve doesn’t require devs use them for MTX? Valve even lets devs sell their own Steam keys and Valve takes 0 cut.

This isn’t about that at all.
What are you trying to argue here? The fact they won’t take a cut on keys sold on other stores doesn’t mean they aren’t still acting very much like a middleman on their store. You think they keep Steam as a cost center only and don’t take any money?
 

Trimesh

Banned
blockchain doesn't have to be universal. AFAIK Bitcoin isn't interchangeable with other crypto currencies. it depends, in theory, Activision could make a blockchain that has items usable across multiple CoD games. but I think it can just be game centric. that would mean each game would have it's own economy.
In the future a standardized gameworld ecosystem could be developed. EA has a game engine and a digital store it could make this part of the engine.

But if it isn't universal (or at least widely accepted) then what's the point? At that point, it's basically just an opaque identifier in a DRM system - and there are lots of other ways to implement that without the overhead of a blockchain. A "blockchain based" system where you need out-of-band agreement between people to make it useful really isn't useful at all, and strongly suggests that the technology was chosen not for it's special utility in this application but because it's a term that has a lot of buzz associated with it.
 
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Pejo

Gold Member
This is good news, especially for the uninformed masses. Part of me likes the freedom to release basically anything on Steam, but part of me wishes it was curated.

Anyways, most of the people that will be against this have no idea what NFT even stands for or means, guaranteed. They're just open doors for scams and general bullshittery.
 

Amiga

Member
But if it isn't universal (or at least widely accepted) then what's the point? At that point, it's basically just an opaque identifier in a DRM system - and there are lots of other ways to implement that without the overhead of a blockchain. A "blockchain based" system where you need out-of-band agreement between people to make it useful really isn't useful at all, and strongly suggests that the technology was chosen not for it's special utility in this application but because it's a term that has a lot of buzz associated with it.
users don't know or care about technicalities. it's the effect that matters. if there is another way to achieve more digital ownership and less tethering to the initial seller then let's have it.
 

reksveks

Member
Blockchain is a waste of time and energy in general. There’s other, better ways to achieve those ends
Is there another good way to introduce a trusted form of 'digital scarcity' into the world? Assuming that it is a good thing.
But if it isn't universal (or at least widely accepted) then what's the point? At that point, it's basically just an opaque identifier in a DRM system
I am wondering about this as well.
 
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