Epic Games Store Relaxes Content Guidelines to Allow Adult-Rated Blockchain Games

25 December 2023

Epic Games Store makes an exception for games rated Adults Only due to blockchain technology, diverging from Steam’s ban on cryptocurrency and NFT-related games.

In a surprising move, the Epic Games Store has revised its content guidelines to permit the inclusion of games rated Adults Only by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), as long as the rating is solely due to the presence of blockchain technology. This policy change was recently observed when two games, Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3, were reinstated on the platform after initially being removed due to their Adults Only rating. While Epic Games Store has embraced blockchain games, its main competitor, Steam, has taken a contrasting approach by banning cryptocurrency and NFT-related games. This shift in policy highlights the diverging strategies of these two major gaming storefronts.

Epic Games Store’s Content Policy Update

To accommodate the return of Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3, the Epic Games Store made subtle adjustments to its prohibited content guidelines. A new provision was added, stating that the store would make an exception for games with an Adults Only rating solely attributed to the usage of blockchain or NFT technology. However, these games must still adhere to Epic’s policies regarding pornography, gambling, hateful content, and the responsible use of blockchain technology.

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The Rise of Blockchain Games

The inclusion of blockchain technology in video games has gained traction in recent years. Blockchain technology allows for the creation of unique digital assets, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which can be bought, sold, and traded securely. This innovation has opened up new avenues for game developers, providing players with ownership and control over in-game items and assets. By embracing blockchain games, the Epic Games Store is capitalizing on this growing trend and positioning itself as a platform that supports innovative gaming experiences.

The Steam vs. Epic Games Store Dichotomy

The contrasting approaches of Steam and the Epic Games Store towards blockchain games reflect their divergent strategies. Steam, the dominant player in the digital distribution market, banned games that facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs in 2021. This decision aimed to mitigate potential risks and maintain a focus on traditional gaming experiences. In contrast, Epic Games Store has recognized the potential of blockchain technology in the gaming industry and has created a loophole to allow blockchain games, as long as they meet certain criteria.

Implications for the Gaming Industry

The Epic Games Store’s relaxation of content guidelines for blockchain games may have broader implications for the gaming industry. By embracing this emerging technology, Epic is signaling its commitment to innovation and its willingness to explore new avenues for developers and players alike. This move could encourage other platforms to reconsider their stance on blockchain games and potentially lead to a wider acceptance of this technology within the industry.

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Balancing Innovation and Responsible Content

While the Epic Games Store’s decision to allow Adults Only-rated blockchain games demonstrates its openness to innovation, it also highlights the need for responsible content moderation. The store’s continued enforcement of policies against pornography, gambling, and hateful content indicates a commitment to maintaining a safe and inclusive gaming environment. Striking a balance between embracing innovation and upholding ethical standards will be crucial as the gaming industry continues to evolve.

Conclusion:

The Epic Games Store’s recent policy change regarding Adults Only-rated blockchain games marks a significant departure from its competitor, Steam. By permitting games with blockchain technology to be sold on its platform, Epic is embracing the potential of this emerging technology and positioning itself as a hub for innovative gaming experiences. This move not only highlights the diverging strategies between these two major gaming storefronts but also raises broader implications for the industry as a whole. As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, finding a balance between innovation and responsible content moderation will be essential for platforms seeking to stay at the forefront of the industry.

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