Epic Games Store Lifts Ban on Blockchain Games with AO Ratings

25 December 2023

Epic Games Store makes an exception for blockchain-powered video games previously classified as “Adults Only” by the ESRB.

In a surprising move, the Epic Games Store, operated by the creators of popular games like Fortnite, has decided to reverse its ban on “Adults Only” (AO) rated games. The platform will now allow blockchain-powered video games that were previously classified as AO by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). This shift in policy marks a departure from the platform’s strict prohibition on AO-rated games, which are typically associated with excessive nudity or violence.

Epic Games Store’s Change in Policy:

The Epic Games Store’s content guidelines page now states that the platform will make an exception for products that received an AO rating solely due to their usage of blockchain or NFT technology. A spokesperson for Epic Games confirmed this change, explaining that certain blockchain-based video games were given AO ratings because of their specific implementation of blockchain.

Return of Previously Removed Games:

Following this policy update, the Epic Games Store has reinstated games such as Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3, which were previously removed due to their AO ratings. These games can now be accessed and purchased by users on the platform.

ESRB’s Strict AO Rating:

The ESRB’s AO rating is widely recognized as the strictest rating for video games, often leading to stores refraining from selling such games altogether. Unlike platforms like Steam and Itch.io, which allow AO games with the option for users to filter them, Steam does not embrace blockchain games. Steam’s standpoint is that they do not allow items with real-world value on their platform, and since blockchain games involve items with value, they are not supported.

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Epic Games Store’s decision to lift the ban on blockchain games with AO ratings showcases the platform’s willingness to adapt and embrace emerging technologies. By making an exception for games that received AO ratings solely due to their use of blockchain, Epic Games is opening up new opportunities for developers and players in the blockchain gaming space. This move also highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the acceptance and regulation of blockchain technology in the gaming industry. As the popularity of blockchain games continues to grow, it remains to be seen how other platforms and rating boards will respond to this evolving landscape.

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