Minecraft says no to NFTs because they create ‘scarcity and exclusion’

21 Jul 2022

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Players of Minecraft will not be able to purchase in-game content such as worlds, skins, persona items and other mods in the form of NFTs.

Minecraft, the best-selling video game of all time, will not support NFTs because they “create a scenario of the haves and the have-nots”.

In a strongly worded post on the Minecraft website yesterday (20 July), developer Mojang Studios said that the incorporation of NFTs would go against the game’s values.

“NFTs and other blockchain technologies create digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusion and playing together,” the company wrote.

“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.”

Minecraft said the statement is in response to feedback from members of the community who asked for clarifications on the studio’s stance on NFTs and blockchain.

The move means that, unlike many other virtual world games, Minecraft will not permit blockchain integrations in its client and server applications. In-game content such as worlds, skins, persona items and other mods cannot be based on NFTs.

Microsoft-owned Mojang said it is also concerned that some third-party NFTs may not be reliable and can end up costing players who buy them. It cited scenarios where third-party NFT managers could “disappear without notice” or NFTs could be “sold at artificially or fraudulently inflated prices”.

“We recognise that creation inside our game has intrinsic value, and we strive to provide a marketplace where those values can be recognised.”

The online gaming community has seen a surge in interest in blockchain technologies such as NFTs, a topic that was discussed at Future Human earlier this year.

Companies such as GameStop have expressed confidence in NFTs as a significant feature in future gaming, launching its own NFT marketplace.

However, other companies are not going all in just yet. EA’s CEO previously said blockchain and NFTs could represent the future of gaming, but recently added: “Right now, it’s not something that we’re driving hard against”.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic