25 December 2023
Epic Games Store allows blockchain games rated Adults-Only back on the PC marketplace after a new exception to its content policy.
The Epic Games Store, a popular platform for PC gaming, has made a significant change to its content policy, allowing blockchain games rated Adults-Only to be listed on its marketplace. While blockchain games have been available on the platform for some time, those with an Adults-Only rating were previously excluded. However, a recent update to the Content Guidelines now permits games that received the Adults-Only rating solely due to their use of blockchain or NFT (non-fungible token) technology. This move highlights Epic Games Store’s more accepting stance towards blockchain technology, setting it apart from its main competitor, Steam.
The Controversy Surrounding Blockchain Games and the Adults-Only Rating
Blockchain games, which utilize blockchain technology and NFTs, have been a subject of controversy in the gaming industry. The use of blockchain technology has led to some games receiving an Adults-Only rating from the US Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). While the rating is typically associated with extreme violence or sexual content, it has also been applied to games due to their incorporation of blockchain technology. This restriction had prevented certain blockchain games from being listed on the Epic Games Store.
Epic’s Updated Content Guidelines
In its updated Content Guidelines, Epic Games Store has made a clear exception to the Adults-Only ban for games that were assigned the rating solely because of their use of blockchain or NFT technology. This means that games with other content rated as Adults-Only will still not be listed on the platform. Additionally, the existing bans on games containing real-life gambling, pornography, illegal content, and “hateful or abusive content” remain in place for all games.
Specific Guidelines for Blockchain Games
Epic Games Store has implemented separate guidelines for games that incorporate blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. These guidelines prohibit games from utilizing paid offers to boost gameplay, linking directly to crypto marketplaces, and require explicit labeling of games that employ blockchain technology.
Return of Blockchain Games to the Epic Games Store
Following the policy change, two blockchain-based games have made their return to the Epic Games Store. Gods Unchained, a digital trading card game, and Striker Manager 3, a football manager game, have been relisted on the platform. These games showcase the potential of blockchain technology in the gaming industry and are now able to reach a wider audience through the Epic Games Store.
Contrasting Stances: Epic Games Store vs. Steam
Epic Games Store’s decision to allow blockchain games with an Adults-Only rating sets it apart from Steam, its primary competitor. In 2021, Steam implemented a ban on all games built on blockchain technology, those involving real cryptocurrency, and those offering NFTs. This divergence in approach highlights the differing perspectives and strategies adopted by these two major players in the PC gaming market.
The Epic Games Store’s recent policy change allowing blockchain games rated Adults-Only back onto its marketplace marks a significant shift in its content guidelines. By making an exception for games solely rated due to their use of blockchain or NFT technology, Epic Games Store demonstrates its more accepting stance towards this controversial tech. The return of games like Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3 showcases the potential of blockchain technology in the gaming industry. In contrast, Steam’s ban on blockchain games, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs highlights the divergent approaches taken by these two major PC gaming platforms. As the gaming industry continues to explore the possibilities of blockchain technology, the policies and decisions of platforms like Epic Games Store and Steam will shape its future trajectory.