Play-to-earn is an undisputable quality of crypto games, but it is not the only one.
Blockchain-based games can turn any of the in-game attributes (artifacts, characters, plots of land…) into an NFT, allowing gamers to fully possess them and freely trade whenever they wish to, without intermediaries or restrictions.
With 2.8 Bn gamers in the world artifacts trade represents billions of dollars and is poised to grow as more and more people are playing video games.
Some game platforms, however, are too attached to their role of gatekeeper and prefer to deny the future of gaming instead of embracing it. Recently Steam has become one of such platforms, banning all blockchain-based games. With its 120M of monthly active users and some hugely popular games like Counter-Strike, Steam is a market leader, and it looks like it is trying to protect its current publishing model, where in-game items cannot be taken outside the Steam ecosystem, and where Steam can extract value from every transaction on the platform.
We believe that this is an old approach, and it cannot survive long. Of course, Counter-Strike fans will not abandon Steam at once… but if another company proposes them an equally exciting game, where they will be able to really own their in-game items ?
Steam’s competitor Epic Games Store, home to the very popular Fortnite game, must have asked itself the same question, and shortly after Steam’s announce declared that they “will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech”.
If this won’t be enough to make Steam reconsider its decision, digital rights group Fight for the Future posted an open letter to Steam’s mother company Valve, supported by many crypto-gaming companies such as Enjin and Blockchain Game Alliance.
Steam is at a crossroads: either it clings to its past business model, or it embraces Web3 games and the metaverse. As to the gamers, they will go where the best experience and gameplay exist, and ultimately they will be the ones to decide Steam’s fate.