What you need to know
- Blockchain technologies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have created a maelstrom of controversy over the last year, especially in gaming.
- On Wednesday, Mojang Studios released its official stance on the disputed technologies and how they relate to Minecraft.
- Due to the volatile and exploitative nature of NFTs, Mojang Studios isn't allowing or supporting their use in or around Minecraft.
- The studio is currently updating the Minecraft usage guidelines to reflect this stance.
One of the most controversial arrivals in the expansive technology industry within the last few years has been the continued push for the use of blockchain and NFTs. The tech, which allows users to manufacture artificial scarcity and exclusivity for digital goods and products, has even spread to video games. Several publishers and studios are creating video games centered around a play-to-earn mindset using NFTs, or integrating the tech into existing titles, resulting in hefty backlash from the community.
On Wednesday, Mojang Studios assured Minecraft players that it would not go down this route by releasing its official stance on the use of blockchain and NFTs in Minecraft. The company is disallowing their use in Minecraft, stating that "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, including worlds, skins, personal items, or other mods."
Mojang Studios has even provided several reasons behind its decision to refuse support for the heavily disputed blockchain tech that still dominates many conversations. According to the legendary studio, the digital scarcity created by NFTs is in direct opposition to Minecraft's pursuit of safety and inclusivity across its entire ecosystem. Additionally, the volatile nature of an NFT's value, the overwhelming risk of investing in them, and the repeated examples of artificial or fraudulent price inflation on the market all threaten the self-sustained value of the Minecraft Marketplace and community-made content.
Mojang Studios is promising to continue to monitor the evolution of blockchain over time, but its stance is pretty clear right now — users will not be allowed to integrate blockchain technology into Minecraft, nor will they be allowed to create NFTs for or around Minecraft. To reflect this stance, Mojang Studios is working on an in-depth update for its Minecraft usage guidelines.
For many Minecraft fans, this will only further cement Minecraft's place as one of the best games of all time, as blockchain and NFTs generally don't have a good reputation among the gaming community. With this announcement, Mojang Studios is committing to preserving the current support for easily accessible community-made content across the Minecraft Marketplace and mod support.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.