NFTs and blockchain can provoke either groans or extreme enthusiasm, but Mojang Studios have come down firmly in the groan camp when it comes to people using the technologies in Minecraft. In a statement published to the Minecraft site, Mojang said they were addressing community concerns about their position on NFTs and blockchain. Mojang said their position on the technologies is that “integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something we will support or allow”.
Minecraft has long been an example of a gaming community where players have equal access to content. However, Mojang believe that NFTs and blockchain can “create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft”. They’re currently in the process of updating the Minecraft Usage Guidelines to provide guidance on how new technologies can or can’t be incorporated into the game.
“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,” Mojang said, “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 developer did leave room to change their mind in the future, though. “We will also be paying close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time to ensure that the above principles are withheld and determine whether it will allow for more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming,” they said.
The anti-NFT and blockchain stance taken by Mojang is very different from the positivity towards the technologies by other games companies. Square Enix’s president Yosuke Matsuda revealed back in January that he believed the controversial technologies were the future of gaming. The company sold much of its big-name IP such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex to Embracer Group in May for the relatively small figure of $300 million, and said they would be “moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud”.