Mojang Studios, the developer of the widely popular game Minecraft, announced that it’s banning the integration of NFTs and other blockchain products in the game.
There is no denying the popularity of “Minecraft,” the procedurally generated sandbox game developed by Microsoft-owned Mojang Studios. However, the game’s developer announced on Wednesday that it is blocking support for NFTs and other blockchain products in the game.
In a statement it released to announce the decision, Mojang explained that NFTs contradict the game’s values of cooperation and collaboration. The Microsoft-owned developer implies that virtual assets are, by nature, tremendously scarce collector’s items.
“NFTs are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of the haves and have-nots,” the statement reads.
Rewriting Minecraft’s Guidelines
To start implementing its decision, Mojang is rewriting the game’s user guidelines so it can effectively ban fan-created integrations of NFTs within the game. Under its current guidelines, administrators can charge users who access their personally-hosted Minecraft servers.
Nevertheless, additional rules apply. For instance, users must have genuine paid versions of the game and access fees will remain the same for every user. Mojang’s revision of the guidelines would also prohibit NFT implementation and exchange in the game.
Minecraft’s Bold Position
To those new to the technology, NFTs are practically unique receipts tied to the blockchain for digital assets—videos, illustrations, audio files, character models in video games, or anything else accessible via computer. An NFT verifies its holder as the authentic owner of the digital asset.
For illustrative purposes and to better understand, if a player has the NFT for a pickaxe that looks like a lightsaber, that player has the right to say he is the legal owner of the original lightsaber pickaxe.
Moreover, Mojang said that integrating NFTs into the game would only introduce a mindset that could smear players’ long-standing enjoyment of the game. The company also voiced its concern that players might become more inclined to appraise the values of their NFTs and make money through Minecraft than actually playing the game.
Mojang’s official statement listed several other NFT-related issues related to quality control, fraud instances, and NFTs sold at unjustifiably high values. Nevertheless, this ban on NFTs is conditional. That means its developer would keenly observe how the technology evolves and take it from there.
“To ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our Minecraft client and server applications, nor may they be utilized to create NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, personal items, or other mods,” reads the statement. “We have no plans of implementing blockchain technology into Minecraft right now.”
Although the reasoning behind the revision of the guidelines does not drop specific names, the statement cites third-party companies that launched Minecraft-integrated NFT implementations. These integrations have created play-to-earn versions of Minecraft in which activities done within or outside the game allow players to acquire Minecraft-themed NFTs gradually.
Mojang is not mincing its words when bluntly stating its bold position, never mind that Minecraft is an absurdly famous and moddable brand. According to Statista, since its release in 2011, the decade-old game has sold 238 million copies making it the best-selling video game of all time.
It’s not difficult to see what makes the game appealing. Minecraft is simple, immensely flexible, and easy to run. There are Minecraft players who used it to make a “Harry Potter” game set in a 1:1 recreation of Hogwarts. Some created a fictional cult commune devoted to the streamer MoonMoon. And then others made working CPUs.
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