December 21, 2023

'Gods Unchained' Reinstated on Epic Games Store Following Revision of Play-to-Earn Policy

The Epic Games Store has revised its content guidelines to permit certain Adults Only-rated crypto games, including Gods Unchained. The decision comes after the ESRB assigned a restrictive rating to Gods Unchained due to its play-to-earn features.

Fortnite publisher Epic Games revealed on Tuesday that the Epic Games Store has undergone policy adjustments, resulting in the reintegration of the NFT card game Gods Unchained (GODS) onto its platform.

Gods Unchained, alongside other blockchain games such as Striker Manager 3, had been delisted from the Epic Games Store due to receiving an 'Adults Only' (AO) rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Prior to this policy revision, games with an AO rating were not permitted on the Epic Games Store.

An Epic Games representative stated:

"Some blockchain-based games are receiving Adults Only (AO) ratings from industry ratings bodies for their particular implementation of blockchain. 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."

The ESRB issues AO ratings to games it deems suitable only for individuals aged 18 and above. Gods Unchained received an AO rating because of its play-to-earn elements, wherein players can acquire NFTs or crypto tokens with real-world value, as explained by the ESRB. The ESRB clarified:

"The ESRB age and content rating system assesses whether products may reward real money, prizes with real-world value, or something that can be exchanged for or converted to real money."

AO ratings, typically associated with games featuring intense violence or explicit content, are generally prohibited on platforms such as Xbox and PlayStation. However, Epic Games has now made an exception to its no-AO games policy, specifically for blockchain games whose rating is solely attributed to their crypto or NFT components.

This revision addresses a significant challenge faced by game developers, who previously encountered a catch-22 situation as Epic Games accepted blockchain games but excluded those with an AO rating, distinguishing it from its competitor Steam.

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