Minecraft developer Mojang says no to NFT integration

Minecraft developer Mojang says no to NFT and blockchain integration, citing fraud and speculation.
July 21, 2022 - Cynthia Chung

Microsoft-owned video game Minecraft announced a ban on NFTs from its game on Wednesday. 


It shared a blogpost detailing upcoming changes to its game’s usage guidelines, stating that although server owners are allowed to charge users to access their personally hosted Minecraft servers, additional rules shall apply to ensure all Minecraft players have access to the same functionality and content. This includes requiring paid users to have genuine, paid-for versions of the game, and that access fees remain exactly the same for every user.


The NFT scarcity model limits players’ ability to access features on some servers, and allows server owners to charge money to access these experiences. Hence, in Minecraft’s view, NFTs run counter to ‘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,’ the blogpost reads.


The reason behind the new guidelines is that third-party companies have launched Minecraft-integrated implementations that have led to the creation of play-to-earn versions of the game, in which activities that took place within or outside the game enabled players to acquire Minecraft-themed NFTs.  


‘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 blogpost states. 


Minecraft added that it has no plans to develop or integrate blockchain technology into Minecraft right now but will pay attention to how the technology evolves.


The company that has been affected the most by Minecraft’s announcement is NFT Worlds, which is a Web3 gaming and Metaverse platform focused on third-party blockchain and NFT Minecraft integrations for users to buy virtual lands as NFTs for in-game use. The project’s prices dropped 70% following the ban but the developers said they will not abandon the project. 


It reacted to the announcement via its official Discord server, ‘We are as blindsided as you are. We have talked with Minecraft's IP department multiple times in the past. They have never clearly indicated that anything we were doing was going to be ruled on/restricted (other than existing EULA items, which we complied with for the entirety of the project, such as our stance on advertising/IP within the game).’ 


‘I know this is extreme cause for concern in the community, and it is for us too. But we're currently [considering] all options, and will do our best to figure out another option going forward, even if that's a pivot.’ the message continues.


Photo: Mojang


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