Issue 37 🍵 Steam bans blockchain games

But does it really matter?

Disclaimer: This newsletter is not financial advice. We buy what we like, and you should buy what you like.

Marketplaces are probably our favorite point of discussion here at Cup, with copyright being a close second. They’re both usually battles for power.

And marketplaces are undeniably some of the most important distribution points, especially for digital media. So when marketplaces decide to remove their support for things, there’s always some uproar.

So, this week was a lot of fun to dig into.

To start, Steam, the video game distributor, announced that they were going to remove support for any games incorporating blockchain technology.

And this actually impacted existing games on the platform. The first-person adventure game, Age of Rust, announced that they would no longer be available on Steam after the change.

But later in the week, Steam's strongest competitor, Epic Games announced the opposite. They were going to continue supporting blockchain games, as long as the games were lawful and appropriate.

Epic’s CEO himself even made a statement:

A bit unexpected, considering how Tim’s previous statement on was that NFTs were scams. 😂

But all in all, this might just be Epic doing business. Steam’s the giant to beat, and Epic’s done everything from waiving royalties to lowering commissions to try and take a piece of Steam’s business.

At the end of the day, though, maybe this fight doesn’t really matter as much. If Apple outright banned blockchain games on their mobile devices, it would be a bigger deal, since iOS is so notoriously siloed.

But Steam and Epic primarily distribute games on desktop, and that’s easy. Age of Rust can just put up their game client on their website, and things can go on as normal. Blockchain games, after all, don’t sell the game itself; they sell different ways of experiencing the game—special passes, different monsters, different tools, etc.

Nice try, Steam, but this isn’t a kill-shot for blockchain games. Still, it’s always interesting when these big companies outright says no to something.

Other news

🌱 Following last week’s announcement of Coinbase NFT, here are a few more details about how it’s going to work.

🌱 Creators rejoice: Rarible now supports lazy minting! This means that the buyer, instead of the artist, can pay for the gas of minting. Always a joy when the barrier of entry gets lower.

🌱 There was some buzz when a CryptoPunk owner turned down a $9.5M offer for his Punk. And nope, it wasn’t even a rare Punk!

🌱 If you want make your own on-chain song, then check out the newly launched Arpeggi Studio. Access to the minting feature will first be available to people who will the Genesis Studio Pass that will be released to the public tomorrow, October 21.

🌱 Dance NFTs are still pretty niche, so it’s exciting that HEATDAO just announced that they are making an NFT marketplace for movement data. This means that your movement—like dancing—can be bought and used in other forms of media, like animation. Pretty wild.

🌱 The Proof-of-Attendance Protocol is scaling back after being hit by bots and POAP farmers. Earning little badges for attending events was always fun, so here’s hoping they can find a solution!

Reading list

Creative corner

Want to see the world from a different point of view? CryptoWebcams is a project that shows you different places around the world, through the lens of surveillance cameras.

It’s a commentary on mass surveillance and the lack of security. Feels a bit more salient that it’s being sold on an open and public blockchain.

Check out more of CryptoWebcams on H=N, and follow them on Twitter!

Try this

If you already have an ENS domain, you can now set-up an NFT you own as the avatar when you sign in into dApps!

Doing so also updates that NFT into becoming the background for your ENS NFT.

Web3 just got a little bit cooler!

To end: hello new friends! There’s a bit more of you than usual (thank you Linda Xie for the shoutout)

If you got any news or feedback to share, you can find us on Twitter. We really want to make this good for you, so let us know if we’re accomplishing it.

🍵 See you again next Wednesday! - Elle and Gian