The developer behind Minecraft has banned NFTs in the game.
Mojang Studios, which is owned by Microsoft, wrote in a blog post that “integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something we will support or allow” because NFTs and other blockchain technology “can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft”.
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a digital item that belongs to the person that purchased it, with the record of purchase kept on an unalterable ledger called the blockchain.
Mojang says that the NFT implementations that they have seen from companies on Minecraft, such as skin packs, or earning NFT rewards for activities inside or ourside the game, “creates digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusion and playing together.”
The company continues: “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.”
Despite the hype around the technology when it launched, sales of NFTs have fallen 92 per cent. The apparent decline was seen during an auction of an NFT of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which was initially purchased for $2.9 million but resold for just $280.
It is possible that Mojang could integrate NFTs in future, with the company saying that it is “paying close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time”, but concludes that there are “no plans of implementing blockchain technology into Minecraft right now.”
Mojang is not the only gaming giant to take a stand against NFTs. Last year, Valve announced that it would not allow NFTs or cryptocurrencies on its platform Steam. In an interview, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell explained that “people in the [NFT] space … tend to be involved in a lot of criminal activity and a lot of sketchy behaviours”, adding that it is “much more about the actors than it is about the underlying technology.”
Epic Games has said that it will “welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group”, but will not be using crypto technologies or NFTs themselves.
“We aren’t touching NFTs as the whole field is currently tangled up with an intractable mix of scams, interesting decentralized tech foundations, and scams”, chief executive Tim Sweeney tweeted.