On 20th July, Minecraft developer Mojang announced a ban on the integration of NFTs within the game. This ban comes as a means to ensure that the player base has access to the same functions and rules and that there are no discrepancies.
Mojang rejected the blockchain space entirely, adding that NFTs will not be allowed to be integrated with in-game content and also issued a ban on both the client and server-side applications. The stated, “We have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content.” It added that NFTs can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with the guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft.
This news affected various projects, existing and upcoming ones, but NFT Worlds was rough hit. The project was one of the forerunners in the NFT Minecraft space and following Mojang’s statement, it saw a massive plummet in the value of its tokens and NFTs.
NFT Worlds is an NFT collection with 10,000 unique Minecraft worlds. Each NFT contains a world seed which is a code generated by each Minecraft world. Once a user purchases an NFT, they can use their seed from their token contract and use it in Minecraft.
According to the official website, “NFT Worlds is a fully decentralized, fully customizable, community-driven, play-to-earn gaming platform where world owners can create their own limitless metaverse games or experiences for players or exclusive communities within their worlds.“
Players can also host their world as a destination within the Metaverse and the project would have builders to help NFT holders build their Metaverse experience. NFT World uses Web3 to make Minecraft worlds into tokens that can be sold through their own cryptocurrency known as $WRLD.
The project on had garnered over 30,000 ETH in trade volume, resulting in $90 Million USD. The project had generated over $75 Million USD in transactions with the base NFT going from 3 ETH ($4619) to the base price now being at 1.333 ETH ($2052). The Token had hit a peak of$0.593152 on 20th February but after the ban, the coin, according to , is currently valued at $0.01374.
In a NFT Worlds said the ban came “without warning.” It added, “Microsoft, Mojang and Minecraft have signaled they have no regard for creators, builders and players if at any moment a new idea or vision conflicts with any internal politics or opinions of their power holding minority; regardless of their public-facing ideals around creators and developers they say they uphold.”
This is not the end of the road for NFT Worlds. It quickly announced that it would be taking on Minecraft in a “Web2 vs Web3” battle and developing its own game to replace what it lost in Minecraft.
“We’re creating a new game and platform based on many of the core mechanics of Minecraft, but with the modernization and active development [that] 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.”
The game is looking to update the graphics and optimize the performance with new mechanics while maintaining the same “playstyle, look and feel” of Minecraft. It will be free for players and NFT Worlds will ensure backward compatibility with existing server plugins for Minecraft to ensure a smooth transition from Minecraft to its new game.
Following its announcement, Mojang came under a lot of scrutiny. Numerous people pointed out how the blog post ironically spoke about digital scarcity that promotes exclusivity and contended that digital scarcity has always existed in Minecraft. For example, the in-game skins, as the creations and accounts are all owned by Microsoft.
It is noteworthy that Microsoft only provides a limited license, whereas NFTs promote ownership. Another point Mojang made was that it was protecting the younger audiences, but Minecraft promotes its virtual currency called MineCoins which can be used within the in-game marketplace.
Another move of Mojang’s that came under fire was its new moderation system that banned players and private servers. These servers are owned, maintained, and handled by players who paid for them but Mojang made it clear that players do not own the servers.
When a Twitter user asked Epic Games to take a similar stance on the matter of NFTs, Epic’s CEO replied, “Developers should be free to decide how to build their games, and you are free to decide whether to play them. I believe stores and operating system makers shouldn’t interfere by forcing their views onto others. We definitely won’t.”
NFTs in gaming have become a hot topic of debate. Many companies have come forward to adopt them in their games but have been facing criticism from various stakeholders. For instance, Ubisoft’s internal team criticized the company’s foray into the NFT space. Given this strained situation, a company as large as Mojang banning NFTs can be seen as harmful. This could potentially leave players and investors second-guessing before entering the space.
This story was written in partnership with Linx Games
Linx Games is a community-driven blockchain game distribution platform for gamers and developers to interact, socialize and exchange ideas.
Zen is a blockchain gaming writer for AFK Gaming. As an avid gamer since childhood, he is now focused on the booming blockchain gaming space.