Valve has already taken a stand on NFTs and cryptocurrencies on Steam by blocking games that use blockchain technology. President and co-founder Gabe Newell has now explained the reason for the decision, saying that the biggest concerns were the volatility of the cryptocurrency and the bad actors behind NFTs.
In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Newell noted that it’s important to separate NFT technology from unscrupulous users. The concepts of digital ownership and shared universes are good in their own right, he says, but he believes the bad players in the NFT community outweigh any potential upsides.
He further explains that these people are not the kind of people Valve wants to deal with. In his opinion, the space is filled with people who use NFTs as an opportunity to deceive customers or engage in money laundering.
Also, when Steam accepted cryptocurrencies as payment for games, the huge volatility associated with it created problems for users. When it comes to buying everyday items, shoppers don’t want the price to fluctuate that much. “For example, why did I spend $497 one day to buy a game and the next day I spent 47 cents, what’s going on here? Volatility is bad in a medium of exchange,” he explained.
He also said that the vast majority of cryptocurrency transactions on Steam were fraudulent. While fraud cannot be completely ruled out, ideally, fraud should only account for a couple percent of total transactions. However, according to him, fraud accounts for half of all cryptocurrency transactions: “It’s just getting out of hand, right?”
Regarding the concept of digital property and the metaverse, Newell mentioned Final Fantasy 14 in a separate interview with PCGamer. “Most people who talk about the metaverse have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. And they have apparently never played an MMO. They’re like, “Oh, you’re going to have this custom avatar.” And it’s like, well… go into La Noscea in Final Fantasy 14 and tell me it’s not a ten-year-old problem solved, not some incredible thing that you, you know, invent.”