Published on: 22/07/2022
Epic Games ‘Definitely Won’t’ Ban Blockchain Games, NFTs, Says CEO
The CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, has said via Twitter that his company will not follow Minecraft’s ban on NFTs and blockchain-based products.
Previously, Steam, one of the largest PC gaming marketplaces, announced a ban on NFT and blockchain technology in October 2021. With Minecraft also recently following suit by banning NFTs on its platform, it looked like most large digital platforms are taking a stance against blockchain technology.
In the wake of the announcements, the pressure was mounting on Epic Games to follow suit. Epic, however, decided to take a different stance on the matter by asserting that developers may freely pursue projects and games that employ blockchain integration and publish them on its store. With over 194 million users, the Epic Games store is now officially one of the largest platforms that allow blockchain-based games.
Sweeney’s position was made known via a reply tweet, in which he wrote to a user requesting Epic to ban NFTs and blockchain games from its platform: “I believe stores and operating system makers shouldn’t interfere by forcing their views onto others. We definitely won’t.”
Epic Games on blockchain and metaverse
Multiple companies have made use of technology and tools developed by Epic Games to create both blockchain games and metaverses. One of them is Ring Games, which has raised $5 million to build its Unreal Engine-powered blockchain game, Stella Fantasy. Other companies have also decided to launch blockchain and metaverse games on the Epic Games Store, such as Gala Games. Despite the amount of interest other companies have in blockchain-based games, Epic Games has not announced any plans for blockchain integration in its popular game, Fortnite.
While Epic Games is not investing in putting blockchain in its games, the company has expressed interest in developing its own metaverse. Sweeney has been a strong supporter of the metaverse for a long time as not just an alternative to the internet but an evolution of it. Epic’s idea of a metaverse itself is a large, digital community space where users can interact with each other openly, and for years, the company has been acquiring assets and moving to further fuel its metaverse development.
Previously in April, Epic Games organized a massively successful fundraiser, with Sony and KIRKBI investing $1 billion each, bringing Epic Game’s total valuation to $31.5 billion and placing them as one of the highest valued firms in the center of the metaverse sphere. The company has said it would use the funds to accelerate its metaverse development.
Sweeney believes that one of the reasons why the metaverse hasn’t been able to realize its potential is because most companies are only looking out for their interest and are just doing “whatever you think you can get away with”. He asserted that Epic, in contrast, is explicitly trying to avoid using market dominance or power to force adoption from developers, instead letting creators choose when and how they enter the metaverse, adding that he believes that an even playing field is the only place where a metaverse’s economy would function.