In a recent development, the Epic Games Store has revised its content policy, signaling a noteworthy change in its stance towards blockchain-based games. Traditionally, the platform strictly refrained from hosting games bearing an “Adults Only” (AO) rating as determined by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Games falling under this classification typically involve elements of explicit nudity or excessive violence. However, a fresh announcement from the marketplace reveals a pivotal exception to this stringent rule specifically for blockchain games.
According to Brian Sharon, a spokesperson for Epic Games, certain blockchain-based games find themselves tagged with an AO rating by industry rating bodies due to their distinctive incorporation of blockchain technology. Sharon, in a statement conveyed to The Verge, highlighted this exception by stating, “Some blockchain-based games are receiving Adults Only (AO) ratings from industry ratings bodies for their particular implementation of blockchain.”
Epic Games has responded to this nuance by updating its content policy, acknowledging that games receiving an AO rating solely due to their utilization of blockchain or Non-Fungible Token (NFT) technology will be permitted on the platform. It is essential to note that while this revision opens the door for blockchain games, the stringent policies against explicit content such as pornography, gambling, and hate speech remain firmly intact, as emphasized by Sharon. The spokesperson clarified that blockchain games are not allowed to facilitate gambling activities on the platform.
Games Make a Triumphant Return
The repercussions of this policy shift are already evident as games previously removed from the Epic Games Store due to their AO rating are now making a triumphant return. Notable examples include “Gods Unchained” and “Striker Manager 3,” both of which faced expulsion from the marketplace due to their explicit 18 and over rating.
Reinstatement of Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3
With the implementation of the revised policy, “Gods Unchained” and “Striker Manager 3” have successfully reclaimed their place on the Epic Games Store. Previously ousted due to their AO rating, the games can now benefit from the platform’s updated approach that recognizes the unique attributions of blockchain technology. This development not only marks a strategic shift in the acceptance of blockchain-based games but also underlines Epic Games’ commitment to adapting its policies to the evolving landscape of the gaming industry.
In conclusion, the Epic Games Store’s decision to accommodate blockchain games with AO ratings solely attributed to their use of blockchain or NFT technology reflects a nuanced understanding of the diverse forms gaming can take in the modern era. This policy adjustment is likely to foster a more inclusive environment for innovative gaming experiences while maintaining a steadfast stance against explicit content and activities inconsistent with the platform’s values. As the gaming industry continues to embrace emerging technologies, Epic Games appears poised to navigate these changes judiciously, ensuring a balance between innovation and responsible content curation.