Minecraft bans NFTs for fear that they will incentivize players to “earn profit”

Sent on July 22, 2022, 2:49 pmUpdated July 25, 2022 at 2:42 pm

Microsoft, against the market, on NFTs? While big techs make more announcements (Twitter, Spotify, Instagram, Snapchat) in this area, the Redmond giant says no to non-fungible tokens. In a blog post, Microsoft-owned publisher Mojang says it will no longer accept them in its Minecraft game.

Some players use NFTs to sell items created on the platform. These include “skins”, which allow, among other things, to modify the appearance of his avatar, his physique, but also his outfit and the accessories he wears. These creations can be purchased on the platform, through Minecoins, the virtual currency of Minecraft. Minecoin is acquired in exchange for traditional currencies, such as the dollar. A similar operation, here, to the new metaverse platforms linked to a blockchain such as The Sandbox. But Minecraft doesn’t come from this world.

A game, not a business

For the makers of the famous game, published by the Swedish company Mojang Studios, bought by Microsoft in 2014 for 2.5 billion dollars, the NFT “can create a model of scarcity and exclusion that contrasts with the rules and the ‘spirit’ of the game. The NFT, or Non-Fungible Token, associate a digital object with a certificate of authenticity that guarantees its official ownership to its sole owner.

The use of the NFT, which can be associated with only one owner, therefore contravenes, according to the publisher, the “spirit” of Minecraft, or that of “a community where everyone has access to the same contents”. Officials are also concerned that the emergence of an NFT market in Minecraft will “encourage profit” and “distract users from the game.” They also indicate the risk of manipulation and fraud, already observed with some NFTs, the price of which is artificially inflated.

Mojang also indicates that it does not plan, at least in the short term, to allow the use of the blockchain on which NFTs are based in particular … although it reserves the right to change its mind later. Fountain, won’t I drink your water? Maybe the editor will change his mind if the cryptocurrency market recovers from the crash?

Minecraft is the best-selling game in history, with over 200 million units sold. Now described as a metaverse, it seemed ideal for receiving NFTs, which purport to organize exchanges and ensure their rarity in these universes.

No synergy with MetaMask

However, several players in the world of video games have positioned themselves against the use of NFT, in harmony with many players, who see it as a commercial enterprise. Conversely, others like EA, Konami or Ubisoft have embraced – with varying degrees of success – this trend. More recently, Square Enix announced the release of the character Cloud, from the Final Fantasy VII franchise, in the form of NFT.

In the case of Minecraft, this setback also nullifies a serious prognosis that has been underway since spring. In March, parent company Microsoft made a foothold in the Web3 sector (bringing together blockchain, cryptocurrency and NFT technologies) by participating in the $ 450 million seed round of New York start-up ConsenSys. This is known for releasing the MetaMask wallet, one of the most popular for buying NFTs. From there to imagine a bridge with the famous sandbox game, there was only one step.

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