Epic Games Updates Policy on Adults Only Rated Games

25 December 2023

Epic Games Store adjusts its content policy to allow certain blockchain-based games with Adults Only (AO) ratings, while maintaining restrictions on gambling.

Epic Games, the popular video game developer and distributor, has made significant updates to its policy on Adults Only (AO) rated games. These changes will impact the availability of these games on the Epic Games Store. The adjustments aim to strike a balance between imposing restrictions and recognizing instances where content may warrant special consideration. Notably, the prohibition on gambling in most video games rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) remains intact. However, a nuanced revision now exempts blockchain games rated as AO if the rating is linked to their use of controversial technology. This move showcases Epic Games’ commitment to innovation and user engagement.

The Controversial Link Between Blockchain Technology and AO Ratings

The Epic Games Store has long allowed blockchain games, but certain titles incorporating this technology faced restrictions due to the store’s policy targeting AO-rated games. While the AO rating is typically associated with extreme violence or sexual content, it has also been applied to games based on their utilization of blockchain technology. This connection between blockchain and AO ratings has sparked debates within the gaming community, as some argue that the rating should be based solely on the game’s content rather than its technological features.

Epic Games’ Embrace of NFTs and User Engagement

In the summer of 2022, Epic Games made a groundbreaking decision by embracing the presence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) within its storefront. NFTs are unique digital assets that can be bought, sold, and traded on blockchain platforms. This move set Epic Games apart from other industry giants like Valve, which had taken a more cautious approach to NFT integration. Despite facing scrutiny for this decision, Epic Games has remained committed to fostering innovation and enhancing user engagement.

The Temporary Removal and Relisting of Games

As part of its commitment to adapt to evolving industry dynamics, Epic Games recently re-listed two notable games, Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3. These games had been temporarily removed from the Epic Games Store after receiving AO ratings from the ESRB. The decision to relist these games reflects Epic Games’ willingness to respond to feedback and make adjustments to its content curation and platform policies. By re-evaluating the restrictions placed on certain blockchain games, Epic Games is demonstrating its commitment to providing a diverse range of gaming experiences to its users.

Balancing Restrictions and Special Considerations

Epic Games’ updated policy on AO-rated games illustrates the company’s efforts to strike a balance between imposing restrictions and recognizing instances where content may warrant special consideration. By exempting blockchain games with AO ratings linked to their use of controversial technology, Epic Games acknowledges that the rating alone may not accurately reflect the game’s content or potential impact on players. This nuanced approach allows for more flexibility in curating the Epic Games Store while still upholding certain standards of content appropriateness.

The Future of Blockchain Games on the Epic Games Store

The recent policy update by Epic Games opens up new possibilities for blockchain games on the Epic Games Store. As the popularity of blockchain technology and NFTs continues to grow, more game developers may explore incorporating these features into their titles. Epic Games’ willingness to adapt its policies to accommodate these developments signals a forward-thinking approach to the future of gaming. However, the ongoing prohibition on gambling in most ESRB-rated games demonstrates the company’s commitment to responsible content curation and player safety.

Conclusion:

Epic Games’ updated policy on Adults Only rated games showcases the company’s commitment to innovation and user engagement. By allowing certain blockchain games with AO ratings linked to their use of controversial technology, Epic Games acknowledges the need for a nuanced approach to content curation. The recent relisting of Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3 demonstrates the company’s responsiveness to evolving industry dynamics. As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, Epic Games’ willingness to adapt its policies and embrace emerging technologies positions it as a leader in the industry.

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