Mojang is the latest studio to say No Fucking Thanks to NFTs.
You might remember not too long ago a little ol’ NFT project called Blockverse, a self-described “on-chain Ethereum NFT that enables a unique P2E on Minecraft”.
So basically, you’d pay an exorbitant amount of money to look unique and special in a private Minecraft server.
Of course, it absolutely bombed, and the creators peaced out with a whole lot of moolah after fearing what they had created, a large assortment of schmoes desperate to play Minecraft in a new, buzzword-y way. Their Twitter account now contains a single tweet, which is funny to me.
It’s better to try and fail than fail to try.
— Blockchain (@Blockverse_NFT) April 15, 2022
Considering designing and even randomising a Minecraft skin is simple enough, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that there’s plenty of other hucksters attempting to sell Minecraft skins as NFTs.
In response to this, Mojang Studios has made an official statement regarding NFTs in Minecraft that pretty much bubbles down to “No, no, no. No, also no, and no as well.”
In a statement posted today, the staff at Mojang explain that “integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something we will support or allow.” Its new policy on NFTs in Minecraft is as follows:
In our Minecraft Usage Guidelines, we outline how a server owner can charge for access, and that all players should have access to the same functionality. We have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content. NFTs, however, can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft.
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.
Tl;dr: Mojang Studios believes that the integration of NFTs into Minecraft aims to exclude those who can’t cough up some Computer Fun Bucks, and that’s not on.
On top of that, there’s always the possibility of Minecraft-related NFT sellers on the blockchain simply fucking off after making a sale, which puts Minecraft players at risk.
However, it’s also important to note riiiight at the end there, they do mention that they’re not fully ruling out potential integration of blockchain technology into Minecraft. More, it’s that the NFT landscape as it stands right now doesn’t align with their values as a company.
Sure, let’s say hypothetically that at some point in the future, there may be a way for newer Web3 technology to be useful and have a positive purpose that isn’t just making money for those who are already rolling in it.
But right now? Fuck no! Stinky! Get that shit outta my face!