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Well, when you have based your entire ecosystem around a specific game and that game says they want nothing to do with you, that kind of throws a wrench into things. That’s precisely what happened this past week when Minecraft and Microsoft MSFT announced that third parties would not be able to use the Minecraft ecosystem for web3/crypto/blockchain/NFT-based projects.
Problem is? Many of those were already in the works, including some massive undertakings like NFT World, which already had millions poured into it on the basis that it would exist within Minecraft. Now, that can no longer happen and the game’s response is…ambitious, to say the least.
In a lengthy statement blasting Microsoft for the decision, claiming this is a battle about web2 attempting to fend off web3 “innovation,” the solution for the current problem, a Minecraft-based world without Minecraft, appears to be that NFT World say it’s going to build its own Minecraft. No, really:
“We’re creating a new game and platform based on many of the core mechanics of Minecraft, but with the modernization and active development Minecraft has been missing for years. This is not a rewrite of some open source Minecraft clone, which likely would violate the EULA or still risk legal action, this is entirely from the ground up. This transition will additionally come with a public facing brand identity change that is more player friendly.
While the playstyle, look and feel of this will be very familiar to Minecraft players; the game mechanics, graphics, performance optimizations and overall improvements will usher in a more accessible, ownable and enjoyable playing experience. Best of all, we’ll be completely untethered from the policy enforcement Microsoft and Mojang have over Minecraft. We truly become our own open game and platform.”
Okay, so this will have Minecraft’s “core mechanics” and “playstyle, look and feel,” but be legally distinct enough from Minecraft so they don’t get sued? This is kind of a “my legally dubious Minecraft clone is raising questions already answered by my legally dubious Minecraft clone” situation to start with here, overlooking, of course, the colossal undertaking it would be to create something akin to Minecraft in the first place. Pretending this is even possible, I wonder what sort of timeline developing a game like that would have, and how patient folks in the fast-changing world of crypto would be waiting around for them to come up with something. It seems ambitious to the point of nonsense, given what they’re promising here.
For now, they recommend that NFT World fans continue to create worlds within Minecraft, but don’t try to monetize them or anything, given these new rules, and just wait until NFT Worlds’ Not-Minecraft is out, as one of its features will be backward compatibility where Minecraft stuff will be able to be ported directly into it. Of course unless Microsoft steps in to block that too.
Even if you’re a die-hard NFT person, this project seems more doomed than most, given the decree from Microsoft here and the seeming absurdity of NFT World attempting to just “make their own Minecraft” as a response. Good luck, you’ll need it.
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