Valve’s Gabe Newell has explained why the Steam platform has banned games containing NFTs and blockchain technology.
The integration of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) into gaming has been met with largely negative reactions, as industry titans such as Square Enix continue to explore methods of using them in-game.
While NFTs have gained favor with various influencers and content creators, Valve’s co-founder and president Gabe Newell has explained why Steam has banned games with NFTs and cryptocurrency integration on the Steam marketplace.
Gabe Newell aims to keep Steam away from “sketchy” NFT scene
Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun‘s James Archer, Gabe Newell said “at one point Steam was accepting cryptocurrencies for payments. And it turned out that it just made customers super mad. There was the issue of volatility: you don’t want your pricing to vary when anchored to people’s wages.”
Newell feels that the NFT scene is comprised of “criminal activity and a lot of sketchy behaviors,” and are “not people you really are wanting to be doing business with.”
Using cryptocurrency seemed to be more hassle than it was worth for Steam and its customers too, with Newell commenting on the confusing state of purchases: “Why did I spend $497 one day to buy a game, and the next day I spent 47 cents, what’s going on here? Volatility is a bad thing in a medium of exchange. That was one problem, that sort of volatility was creating more pain for our customers than the value of having the option of using cryptocurrencies.”
“The vast majority of those transactions, for whatever reason, were fraudulent, where people were repudiating transactions or using illegal sources of funds and things like that,” added Newell.
The Steam president said that his thoughts aren’t a reflection “about the underlying technology” but more so people that use the “opportunity to rip customers off, or engage in money laundering, or other things like that.”
Players will be able to continue using an NFT and cryptocurrency-free marketplace on Steam Deck, which was released on February 25, 2022.