‘Minecraft’ Developer Mojang Rejects Blockchain, NFT Tech

Mojang Studios, creator of the wildly popular “Minecraft” game, has taken a public stance banning NFT integrations and blockchain functionality. The Stockholm-based company, owned since 2014 by Microsoft, stated this week that “integrations of NFTs with ‘Minecraft’ are generally not something we will support or allow.” Mojang says it is updating terms of use with further details explaining its position, but a blog post emphases ensuring “Minecraft” players have “access to the same content.” In a blog post, Mojang concludes NFTs “can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our guidelines.”

“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,” the company posted this week.

Forbes writes of a tension between “blockchain-based, Web3, NFT-focused virtual worlds, and more traditional, established video games that have existed as large-scale, immersive worlds for years already.”

“Minecraft” is either the best-selling or a top-selling video game, depending on the chart source. That it has been around since 2011 and sold, by conservative estimates, more than 180 million global licenses is pretty much universally accepted. Described as a sandbox survival game, “Minecraft” players mine resources, invent tools, build machines and develop their own worlds. It can be used by a single-player, offline, or in an online multiplayer mode. Depending on the settings, players can cooperatively strategize or fight in mobs.

“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,” instead creating “a scenario of the haves and the have-nots,” continued the company post, which Forbes calls “a pretty generalized takedown of why NFTs don’t belong in traditional video games at all.”

Voicing concern that some blockchain offerings might be scams, designed to bilk players under cover of “Minecraft,” the statement concludes NFTs are currently underpinned by a “profiteering” mindset that “is inconsistent with the long-term joy and success of our players.”

Mojang isn’t the only game company to oppose crypto. Valve has taken a “hard stance against blockchain games and NFTs on Steam, and much of the gaming community has soundly rejected NFTs,” writes The Verge. Ubisoft “stopped making NFTs for ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint’ just a few months after launching the initiative.” Epic Games in June added its first blockchain game to the Epic Games Store.

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