Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, says that the Epic Games store “definitely won’t” restrict the sale of games which feature NFTs. Sweeney’s comment follows a statement from Minecraft developer Mojang that outlined the company’s stance to not permit blockchain technologies or NFTs in Minecraft.
Following Mojang’s declaration, one fan reached out to Sweeney on Twitter to enquire whether Epic Games would take a similar stance, but Sweeney responded in the negative.
“Developers should be free to decide how to build their games, and you are free to decide whether to play them,” he says. “I believe stores and operating system makers shouldn’t interfere by forcing their views onto others. We definitely won’t.”
Another user responded to Sweeney’s comments asking how this differs from the Epic Games policy prohibiting hateful and discriminatory content. Sweeney said that this difference comes down to “editorial and brand judgements,” and believes Epic chooses “to draw the line at mainstream acceptable norms.”
Some users on the PC gaming subreddit have taken issue with Sweeney’s stance, highlighting how the Epic CEO has previously spoken out strongly against NFTs. In September 2021, Sweeney publicly posted a copy of an email response in a Twitter reply, which reads “We aren’t touching NFTs as the whole field is currently tangled up with an intractable mix of scams, interesting decentralised tech foundations, and scams.”
Now Sweeney is clear that he believes developers using the Epic Game store should have the choice to pursue such integrations if they wish, however. He said in a follow-up tweet that “Crypto is complicated. There’s some promising stuff, there’s some bad stuff, and everyone should make their own decisions about it.”
Other users on the Reddit thread raised a 2019 interview with PC Gamer where Sweeney said the Epic Games store “doesn’t accept crappy games” and pondered how Epic decides what games do or do not pass their bar for quality.
Conversely, Valve, which doesn’t curate the games it allows on its Steam Store in the same way, took steps in October 2021 to remove and prohibit games which use blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, or NFTs from its storefront.
In February, indie game storefront Itch.io also took a strong stance against NFTs, saying that they are only used for “the exploitation of creators, financial scams, and the destruction of the planet.”