There's still a lot of buzz around NFTs, what they are, how they work, and all the ways that various companies are deciding to promote them. Limited edition items and special loot in games is nothing new, but recently Valve banned all NFT games from Steam. Now, Epic Games' Tim Sweeney confirmed that the Epic Games Store will continue to welcome them, under specific circumstances.
First off, it often seems that no one really agrees if NFTs are working for good or bad. There are some that question if getting involved is even worth it (as our own Steven Weber's most recent deep dive into blockchain gaming and its potential returns). Yet, with the number of new ventures, with creators and publishers seeing the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, there's no doubt there's impact. Valve and Epic are taking different stances, however, and this may matter should these games and add-ons take a more permanent hold.
In Sweeney's statement, which he posted on Twitter, he says that, "Epic Games Store will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group". He also notes that Epic itself isn't using crypto, but they "welcome innovation". It's an openness that is not surprising from Epic, and since the games and options are out there, and more are in varying stages of development, those companies were going to need a distribution home.
So where do things go from here? According to a report on this from The Verge, Epic's own self-publishing program isn't open yet. That's in a closed beta, though devs and publishers that had their games removed from Steam, and probably others using blockchain technology in planned development, are already seemingly working to move over.