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Mojang Blocks Minecraft NFT Support, Says They’re ‘Inconsistent With Long-Term Joy’

Minecraft developer Mojang is making clear that it will not allow blockchain technology like NFTs to be integrated within its massively popular game, stating it believes NFTs to be “inconsistent with the long-term joy and success of our players.”

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital assets on the blockchain, like JPEGs of artwork or even in-game files, that, when purchased, grant “ownership” of that particular file. However, those files can be, and often are, copied or stolen, calling into question exactly how “valuable” these digital files truly are.

As Mojang explains in a new blog post, allowing server owners to implement NFT integration and “play to earn” features which could reward players with NFT forms of in-game skins and items would take “the focus away from playing the game” and allow for “profiteering.”

That’s not what Minecraft is all about, Mojang says. The crux of the matter comes down to the fact that allowing players to earn NFT rewards would create an ecosystem of “haves and have-nots,” which goes against Minecraft’s values of “inclusion and playing together.” Mojang goes as far to call NFTs against the “spirit of Minecraft.”

There is also the issue of fraud. Mojang notes that there have been instances where NFTs “were sold at artificially or fraudulently inflated prices,” and that the developer is concerned that third-party NFTs are not reliable and could end up costing players.

Mojang’s announcement that Minecraft won’t support NFTs will be a major blow to various blockchain oriented projects, like NFT Worlds, which had banked on using Minecraft to “bootstrap” its own “decentralized gaming metaverse.” NFT Worlds’ own cryptocurrency, $WRLD, is currently down more than 70% at time of writing following Mojang’s announcement. As Mojang notes in its blog, NFT prices in general have rapidly fallen as of late.

That, however, isn’t stopping other gaming-related companies, like GameStop, from embracing the technology. Many game development studios that have announced NFT related projects or campaigns, including Stalker 2 developer GSC and Worms-maker Team17, have been met with swift backlash. Both GSC and Team17’s planned NFT projects were quickly canceled after being announced, even as other companies, like Ubisoft and Square Enix, forge ahead with their NFT plans.

Many developers have cited both the environmental impact of NFTS, as well as their negative effect on game development, as reasons to steer clear of the technology. A recent GDC survey found 70% of respondents had no interest in implementing NFTs into their games whatsoever.

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