Minecraft Says No to NFTs

…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, persona items, or other mods.

-Company blog post Minecraft and NFTs

NFTs have been the scam of choice for crypto enthusiasts in 2022.  They have been up and hyped and then have crashed and generally fallen out of favor, but there is always somebody out there looking to find a new sucker to bilk with a rug pull scam.  These schemes never fully go away and NFTs are just another variation of the Greater Fool Theory.

But the last couple of months have been so bad for crypto and blockchain… look at the headlines from my mail bag post last Sunday… that one might assume that we’re past the whole thing as a mainstream scam and the need for companies to take a stand… or, in some cases, walk back previous flirtations with the technology.

I mean, we have established over the last 20 years that if Lord British is all in on some fad or bubble, then it is already over, and he has jumped on the crypto scam train.

So I was a bit surprised to see Mojang come out with an official blog post announcing their stance on NFTs, crypto, and blockchain with regards to Minecraft.

The Wild update is the latest version as of this writing

As they quote up at the top of the post indicates, they are not down with it.  That part was not at all a surprise, it was more the timing that got me.  I feel like they could have come to a conclusion on this at least four or five months ago.  I mean even VentureBeat, a site that gave crypto uncritical, promotional coverage for months was, by late January, starting to seem at least a bit skeptical.

But everybody works at their own pace.

The post is fairly straightforward, with some marvelously simple descriptions as to how this might all be a scam.  This paragraph alone is such a gem that I want to have it written out as an illuminated text, have it framed, and put it up on my wall:

We are also concerned that some third-party NFTs may not be reliable and may end up costing players who buy them. Some third-party NFT implementations are also entirely dependent on blockchain technology and may require an asset manager who might disappear without notice. There have also been instances where NFTs were sold at artificially or fraudulently inflated prices.

May not be reliable!  Might disappear without notice!   Artificially or fraudulently inflated prices!

Do tell!

Part of me wants to believe that they had to think over the word “blockchain” carefully, the humble block being the basic component of the game.  Eventually they had to make a decision though.

Anyway, if you were thinking about some venture to combine blockchain and Minecraft… maybe don’t try it.  The company might be late to the party on this, but they have taken a stand against blockchain and all that goes with it.


6 thoughts on “Minecraft Says No to NFTs

  1. PCRedbeard

    I’d bet money –real money– that some clown tried to sell NFTs of Minecraft logos, etc. without Microsoft’s knowledge. That might be the reason why Microsoft finally got off their ass to throw all of NFTs under the bus.


  2. Bhagpuss

    There’s a good article at Gamesindustry.biz explaining the backstory to Mojang’s statement and yes, it’s because third party Web3 developers are openly piggybacking on Minecraft for their NFT projects because, literally, “building new games is expensive, risky, and difficult” so they’d rather not bother.

    As the Op Ed piece suggests, all well-known, open access, moddable games are in the firing line for this kind of activity so Mojang won’t be the last to find themselves having to draw some pretty firm lines or end up taking responsibility for the hideous consequences of ignoring the problem.


  3. Nogamara

    Leaving the topic aside, “[…] not permitted to be integrated inside our Minecraft client […] any in-game content, including worlds, skins”

    Would that be a violation of the EULA? Did they do that before, like, banning pixelated nude player models? And is it enforcable, or would they (if at all) go after the NFT provider and not the skin user?

    Don’t get me wrong, NFTs can go die in a fire, but the client part feels a little intrusive for my taste.


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – That is a good article, I am adding it to the related links.

    @Nogamara – Probably not strictly enforceable since how are they going to evaluate every mod that goes into the Java container that runs the client. This is probably more of a statement that they will go after people and ban accounts based on complaints or when they find something that can ID when you connect to a Minecraft Realms server, which is their hosting service.


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