Valve has taken a stance on whether NFTs and cryptocurrencies are allowed on Steam, block games with blockchain technology. Chairman and co-founder Gabe Newell has now explained the reasoning behind the decision, stating that the biggest issues are crypto volatility and the bad actors behind the NFT.
In one Interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Newell notes that it is important to keep NFT technology separate from nefarious users. The concepts of digital ownership and a shared universe are fine, he said, but he thinks the bad actors in the NFT community outweigh any potential positives.
“People in space tend to engage in a lot of criminal activity and engage in a lot of sketchy behaviour,” he said. “So it’s more about the actors than it is about the underlying technology.”
He further explained that these people are not the type that Valve wants to do business with. For him, the space is filled with people using NFT as an opportunity to scam customers or engage in money laundering.
Additionally, when Steam accepts cryptocurrency as payment for games, the massive volatility that comes with it is problematic for users. When buying everyday items, customers don’t want prices to fluctuate too much. “Like, why do I spend $497 one day buying a game, and the next day I spend 47 cents, what’s going on here? Volatility is a bad thing in the medium of exchange,” he explained.
He also said that the majority of cryptocurrency transactions on Steam are fraudulent. While fraud is not something that can be completely eliminated, ideally, instances of fraud should contribute only a few percent of total transactions. However, to have fraud account for half of all crypto transactions, he said, “that’s just out of control, isn’t it?”
For the concept of digital property rights and the metaverse, Newell came up with Final Fantasy 14 in a separate Interview with PCGamer. “Most of the people who are talking about the metaverse have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. And they seem to have never played an MMO,” he explained. “They were like, ‘Oh, you’re going to have this customizable avatar.’ And it was like, well… go into La Noscea in Final Fantasy 14 and tell me this isn’t a problem solved a decade ago, it’s not that cool thing you, you know , are inventing.”
Thankfully, Final Fantasy 14 there will also be no NFT.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey
https://www.ign.com/articles/gabe-newell-nft-steam Gabe Newell Banned NFT from Steam Due to ‘Sketch Behavior’ and ‘Uncontrollable’ Fraud