Minecraft developer Mojang updated its usage guidelines today, specifically spelling an end to Web 3.0 technology inside the popular building game. In an article on its website, Mojang stated that NFTs create exclusion and scarcity that goes against Minecraft‘s spirit. As such, “blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our client and server applications.” In addition, NFT creators can’t use Minecraft assets like models and skins when creating their own digital collectibles for sale outside the game.
Microsoft, the owner of Mojang and Minecraft, has previously worked on official NFTs for the game. As reported by blockchain news outlet Decrypt last year, players were once able to grab an official token by playing a web game and then transfer that NFT to Minecraft for additional exclusive content. This type of interaction is something that likely wouldn’t be allowed under Mojang’s new rules.
"To ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our Minecraft client and server applications nor may they be utilized to create NFTs associated with any in-game content…"
— Minecraft (@Minecraft) July 20, 2022
Existing NFT projects within Minecraft also exist currently, and reacted harshly to today’s news. A developer of NFT Worlds called the ban a “step backwards in innovation” and vowed to keep the project going in an alternate Minecraft-like game engine. The project’s official Twitter account also responded with a GIF of Leonardo DiCaprio from The Wolf of Wall Street, a film where he played famous con man Jordan Belfort, saying they weren’t leaving.
NFTs and blockchain tech is popular among a small but vocal group of internet users, although the entire industry has declined as of late. Despite everyone from Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki to Tony Hawk getting involved recently, NFT sales have dropped lower than any point in the last year this summer. The technology has seen little to no penetration into mainstream games, and so-called “pay to earn” games designed around NFTs have failed to make a splash on their own.