Blockchain games are returning to Epic Games’ marketplace. The Epic Games Store has a strict ban on games classified as “Adults Only” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) — normally games with excessive nudity or violence. But the marketplace announced today that blockchain games classified as AO only because they use blockchain are an exception to this rule.
Heads up: Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3 have returned to the Store after a change in our content policy regarding ratings for blockchain-based games. Learn more: https://t.co/RQGGzWGeG8
— Epic Games Store (@EpicGames) December 19, 2023
“Some blockchain-based games are receiving Adults Only (AO) ratings from industry ratings bodies for their particular implementation of blockchain,” Epic Games spokesperson Brian Sharon says in a statement to The Verge. “We’ve updated our Epic Games Store content policy to allow for games that are rated AO solely due to the usage of blockchain or NFT technology.” Policies prohibiting things like porn, gambling, and hateful content remain in place, Sharon says. (Blockchain games cannot facilitate gambling, Epic says.)
Gods Unchained and Striker Manager 3, for example, were recently booted from Epic’s marketplace due to their 18 and over rating, and because of the new policy shift, both games have returned to the store.
Adults Only is the ESRB’s most restrictive rating, and some stores don’t sell games rated AO at all. Although Steam and Itch.io allow AO games in their marketplaces, users can filter them out. Steam does not allow blockchain games.