Mojang, a Microsoft subsidiary, recently stressed on its official blog that “integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are typically not something we will accept or enable.”
The company’s usage guidelines emphasise that “all players should have access to the same functionality” in those servers, even though players have long been free to charge for access to private Minecraft servers they manage. That runs counter to the fundamental idea behind NFTs, which Mojang defines as “digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusiveness and playing together.”
In addition to those kind of philosophical issues, Mojang cites worries about “NFT assets “may require an asset manager who might vanish without notice” and cases where NFTs were sold at artificially or fraudulently inflated values. Due to these problems, some third-party NFTs may not be trustworthy and may wind up costing players money “Warns Mojang.
According to Mojang, “blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our client and server applications, nor may Minecraft in-game content such as worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods be utilised by blockchain technology to create a scarce digital asset.”
Just a few weeks prior, Mojang had declared that it will begin banning violent players from all online games, including those on private servers. Future NFT applications may “enable for more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming,” according to Mojang, who leaves a tiny window of opportunity. The business, however, states that it “does not currently have any intentions to adopt blockchain technology into Minecraft.”
The Mojang statement has a significant influence on initiatives like NFT Worlds, which sells NFTs associated with the world seeds used to produce particular Minecraft maps. Since its inception in October of last year, NFT Worlds has seen total trading volume of over 50,000 ETH (worth $76 million at the current exchange rate), with individual world tokens selling for an average of about 2.5 ETH (about $3,700 today).
However, daily trading in NFT World tokens has been declining for months in tandem with the recent crypto meltdown. And following Mojang’s statement on Wednesday, the cost of the cryptocurrency powering the NFT Worlds project plunged by roughly 70%.
Despite what it dubbed a “out of nowhere announcement by Microsoft/Minecraft [that] feels like a step backward in innovation and may even have severe downstream implications for them in the long run,” the NFT Worlds project’s executives expressed optimism in the project’s future in a public statement.
In order to see whether “we can find an alternative result that’s helpful to the Minecraft player base as well as Microsoft’s vested interest in blockchain/NFT technology and GameFi,” the NFT Worlds team claims it is currently strategizing its next moves and contacting Mojang decision-makers.
If an arrangement can’t be found and NFT Worlds is truly banned from interacting with Minecraft, the team says it will “pivot,” either to its own “Minecraft-like game engine & games platform” or to becoming a “GameFi platform as a service” for other studios looking for their own turnkey NFT/metaverse solutions. “Bottom line, we’re not leaving,” the team writes. “We have the community, we have the warchest, and we know we can build.”