According to a blog post on the official Minecraft website, developer Mojang has received a fair few comments from fans asking about its stance on NFTs and the blockchain. It makes sense to ask these questions; considering Minecraft‘s emphasis on user-generated content, it would not come as a surprise if Mojang felt tempted to allow the selling of this content and join in on other companies’ race toward the bottom. Thankfully, the same blog post confirms that Mojang does not support or permit the incorporation of NFTs into Minecraft.
Currently, the Minecraft Usage Guidelines allow players to charge others who wish to join their servers, but otherwise give all players “access to the same functionality” and content. Mojang stated that NFTs would not fall in line with these guidelines. Their imposed scarcity would exclude many players from accessing this content and interfere with “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.
A potentially fractured community
Additionally, Mojang noted that certain companies have already started their own NFT initiatives that make use of Minecraft‘s skin packs and world items. Mojang criticized these and other initiatives, stating that they shift the focus away from the simple act of playing Minecraft in favor of profiteering. To Mojang, blockchain technologies do not contribute to players’ long-term enjoyment of Minecraft.
The studio also brought attention to the unreliability of certain third-party NFTs, saying that they might come at a sizable cost for players who purchase them. Similar concerns were expressed regarding NFTs that go for artificially inflated prices as well as the possibility of them requiring “an asset manager who might disappear without notice.”
It took a surprising amount of time for Mojang to come out with this statement. However, its rejection of NFTs in Minecraft comes as a relief all the same. The wider gaming public has still not received much compelling evidence that NFTs are worth investing any time or money in, so it’s fortunate that Mojang appears to recognize that.