Minecraft’s recent ban on NFTs sparked a new wave of discussion in both the NFT and gaming communities earlier this week. Most notably, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney weighed in on the matter in a recent reply to the Minecraft account’s tweet, urging platforms like Minecraft not to “interfere [with a consumer’s decision making] by forcing their views onto others.”
Understandably, some NFT critics were quick to interpret Epic Games’ neutral stance on NFTs as a full-on endorsement of the technology. Sweeney corrected those users, instead encouraging them to “make their own decisions” on whether crypto, NFTs, and Web3 are right for them on an individual level.
Epic Games takes a contrasting view to Steam on NFTs
However, even with Sweeney’s relatively open stance on NFTs, he mentioned in a later tweet that Epic Games has no plans to integrate NFTs into any of its own projects. That includes Fortnite — even if the game is effectively already considered a metaverse gaming experience. Case in point, several virtual concerts have already taken place within the confines of the game’s “battle royale.” Sweeney himself partially acknowledged this during his wave of tweets that day, favorably comparing the user experience on Fortnite to a hypothetical “metaverse styled” game that features anti-consumer pricing at the very top.
In total, as a provider of services like Unreal Engine — which artists like FVCKRENDER have famously used to build out their vast virtual worlds — Epic Games remains neutral on NFTs, with no prohibitions on games integrating this technology from appearing on the Epic Games Store.
This stance stands in stark contrast to Steam, the Epic Games Store’s biggest competitor. In late 2021, the gaming giant announced that it was banning any and all games featuring blockchain technology from being put up for sale on its digital platform. On the other hand, Epic Games Store is set to give Gala Games’ GRIT a home when it releases in the near future. But, once GRIT launches, it’ll become the first blockchain game available on the Epic Games Store’s storefront — and likely not the last.