In an unwelcome move for games developers, Valve has taken the decision to remove all blockchain-backed games from Steam. This means that established titles, such as Age of Rust, as well as new IPs that were getting ready to launch, will no longer be able to distribute their games on the Steam marketplace.
Valve has already updated its rules for partners who distribute games using their Steamworks toolset.
The move appears to be related to the real-world value of any NFTs which are available within games. Steam has had very public issues in the past related to after market sales of skins and other cosmetics in games like CS:GO, as well as the implementation of keys and loot boxes, and the gambling laws that are being brought in to ban their use. As a result, a decision like this was always likely to happen at some point.
It's disappointing, however, that when games like Niftyville and HodlGod are becoming more sophisticated, that a major mainstream marketplace is closing its doors to them.
On a more positive note, Epic Games appears to be taking a stand in favour of blockchain technology, with CEO Tim Sweeney taking to Twitter to reassure gamers and devs.
The two biggest marketplaces in PC gaming have often come down on opposite sides of any given issue, so it's likely a calculated move on its Epic's part, hoping that they can become known as the home of blockchain-based gaming. Sweeney himself has mentioned previously that he isn't a fan of NFTs, so this change of heart is almost certainly purely based on business motivations.
Whatever the reason, it will be interesting to see how it works out for them, but for the developers affected by Steam's decision it's at least good news that they'll have somewhere else to go.