Gabe Newell’s Problem Isn’t With NFTs Or Metaverse, But The ‘Bad Actors’ Behind Them

Gabe Newell’s Problem Isn’t With NFTs Or Metaverse, But The ‘Bad Actors’ Behind Them
Image: Screenshot: TVNZ1

Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell has given his two cents on the gaming world’s interest in NFTs and the metaverse.

Gaben’s been making the media rounds in support of Valve’s new Steam Deck hardware. This has granted him multiple opportunities to drop his hot takes on the state of the industry. His comments come after the banning of NFTs and all blockchain games from the Steam platform. The move was well-received by the community but criticised by developers creating blockchain games. This bled into the broader conversation that developers and publishers are having around the concept of the ‘metaverse’.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Newell explained that Valve reached its decision after it found the NFT and blockchain activity in some of these games to be ‘super sketchy’. While he says that blockchains as a form of technology are great, the ways in which they’re currently being used are not.

He further elaborates that the same problem has been raised with the use of cryptocurrencies. Newell points out that ’50 per cent of the cryptocurrency paid for transactions were fraudulent,” and the volatility of the currency meant that people were unaware of just how much they were paying for things on Steam. “Today, you paid 99 cents ($1.37) for it,” Newell explains, “Tomorrow, you’re going to pay $US498 ($691) for it, and that makes people super cranky. So it just wasn’t a good method. The people who are currently active in that space are not usually good actors.”

In another interview, this time with PC Gamer, Newell talks about his feelings on the ‘metaverse’. He remarked that there’s a whole lot of ‘get rich quick schemes’ around the topic. He says what we’ve basically all been thinking: that what a lot of people are doing with the metaverse is nothing new. “They’ve apparently never played an MMO. They’re like, ‘Oh, you’ll have this customisable avatar.’ And it’s like, well… go into La Noscea in Final Fantasy XIV and tell me that this isn’t a solved problem from a decade ago, not some fabulous thing that you’re, you know, inventing.”

So basically, Gaben is echoing what the gaming community has been screaming for the past while. Sure, it’s nothing new, but it’s comforting to know that even some of the biggest names in the industry think that the current approaches to this technology are mostly financially predatory malarkey.

This article is republished from Kotaku Australia. Read the original article.


  • I mean he’s right. *Theoretically*, and purely theoretically, NFT’s are logistically fine. Mind you, that’s in the ULTIMATE theory. In practice, every single aspect of them has been screwed up and ruined in implementation.

      • Yes, yes we know, NFT’s are satans toys etc. After speaking with many artists, they actually tend to agree that theoretically, again, NFT’s are an interesting idea that just doesn’t work *yet*. It will one day, we’re just in the infancy of it. Wether we like it or not, they’re not going to go away, they’re just going to be refined and refined and refined until they get picked up moreso. I guarantee you they will be too, we’ll see the bigger game companies push them more and more in the coming years unfortunately too.

        • Why the confidence? It’s been over a decade since the Bitcoin white paper, and NFTs have been around for years, and still nobody has come up with a situation where they would – even in theory – be preferable to more traditional options like a database entry.

          (Yes, I know it’s “decentralised,” but why is that helpful? If you’re still relying on Epic Games to implement and support your nifty weapon skin in Fortnite and Blizzard to add it to WoW, then why not let them host the database too?)

    • I think your mixing the theory of applied crypto, to the dreamscape metaverse pipedream that’s being floated.

      The theory is use of cryptography to maintain a digital ledger to prevent fraud… it failed by 50%, and its rising.

      98% of NFTs are projected to be worthless in the next 5 years when the craze dies.

  • Wait… Kotaku AU literally republished a Kotaku AU article, 4 days after it was released, on the Kotaku AU website…

    What sort of lazy ass work is this?

    • This piece was pulled over to the US site and has come back to the AU page through our syndication. There’ll be more over the coming days as the GMG strike continues, and we’ll try to stay on top of them to avoid double-ups like this. Appreciate why you might want to stick an elbow in, but want to provide the full picture too.

  • Gabe also said he had a problem with NFTs and Metaverse… he said he isn’t against blockchain as a fundamental technology, he just hasn’t seen an applied use for it that catches his eye and everyone hyping it seems to miss the obvious solutions already exist and are customer friendly.

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