The topic of NFTs and blockchain has been a hot one across technology, including gaming. While some gaming publishers like Square Enix have expressed an interest in incorporating blockchain into its future titles, Minecraft creator Mojang has stepped forward to indicate that the technology is not welcome in its game.
The following message was posted to the Minecraft website on Tuesday:
To ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, 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 utilized by blockchain technology to create a scarce digital asset. Our reasons follow.
Some companies have recently launched NFT implementations that are associated with Minecraft world files and skin packs. Other examples of how NFTs and blockchain could be utilized with Minecraft include creating Minecraft collectible NFTs, allowing players to earn NFTs through activities performed on a server, or earning Minecraft NFT rewards for activities outside the game.
Each of these uses of NFTs and other blockchain technologies creates digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusion and playing together. NFTs are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of the haves and the have-nots. The speculative pricing and investment mentality around NFTs takes the focus away from playing the game and encourages profiteering, which we think is inconsistent with the long-term joy and success of our players.
We are also concerned that some third-party NFTs may not be reliable and may end up costing players who buy them. Some third-party NFT implementations are also entirely dependent on blockchain technology and may require an asset manager who might disappear without notice. There have also been instances where NFTs were sold at artificially or fraudulently inflated prices. We recognize that creation inside our game has intrinsic value, and we strive to provide a marketplace where those values can be recognized.
As such, 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, persona items, or other mods. We will also be paying close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time to ensure that the above principles are withheld and determine whether it will allow for more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming. However, we have no plans of implementing blockchain technology into Minecraft right now.
Developer Mojang has reason to be wary of NFTs and their pitfalls. To name one example, as PC Gamer notes, a Minecraft clone based itself on NFTs earlier this year and absconded with more than $1 million USD. That's the kind of thing that Mojang hopes to avoid, but it should be noted that the studio has not ruled out NFTs entirely for the future. As seen in the quoted post above, Mojang will monitor blockchain technology and evaluate in the future whether it's ultimately safe to use.
For now, Mojang is currently content with Minecraft as a money-printing machine and continues to build on its brand. On top of the game's many updates, Mojang is currently working on a new action RPG called Minecraft Legends. We're continuing to follow the story of NFTs, blockchain, and its various success stories and speed bumps and will have more stories in the weeks and months ahead. Keep it on Shacknews for the latest updates.