Not everyone is jumping on the NFT bandwagon.
In the July 20 notice, the game’s developer, Mojang, said it has rules in place 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.”
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) provide unique identifiers, which are part of a blockchain, that can authenticate the ownership of any form of digital asset (enabling markets for trading or selling those). Since the craze for NFTs kicked off in early 2021, many media and entertainment companies — including Disney, ESPN, Fox, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Warner Music Group and WWE — have been diving into NFTs as a way to generate incremental revenue and boost fan loyalty. Some are also looking at the technology as potentially enabling new forms of content distribution.
But Minecraft wants no part of NFTs on its platform.
“NFTs are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of the haves and the have-nots,” Mojang’s notice says. “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.”
Specifically, Mojang said that blockchain technologies are “not permitted” to be integrated inside the Minecraft 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 game developer also said it was “concerned that some third-party NFTs may not be reliable and may end up costing players who buy them,” noting that in some cases NFTs have been sold at “artificially or fraudulently inflated prices.”
Microsoft bought Mojang, the Swedish studio behind Minecraft, for $2.5 billion in 2014. Mojang remains largely intact as an autonomous division of the software giant.