Global software giant Microsoft has announced that third-parties would not be able to use the Minecraft ecosystem for NFT projects and that Minecraft’s in-game content such as Worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods cannot be utilized by blockchain technology to create a scarce digital asset.
Games such as Minecraft rely on user-generated content to produce revenue and Microsoft keeps about 50% of the revenue generated by third-party content but has not kept anything from NFT sales so far.
“NFT are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of haves and have-nots”, the company said in a statement, while adding that the speculative pricing and investment mentality around NFT took the focus away from playing the game and encourages profiteering.
According to Minecraft, blockchain technologies would not be allowed to interfere with Minecraft’s client and server applications to ensure that Minecraft players have a safe, secure and inclusive experience.
The company further said that NFT and other blockchain technologies create digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which did not align with its values of creative inclusion and playing together.
With the new policy changes, game platforms within the Minecraft ecosystem are still allowed to operate and be played but cannot integrate blockchain based functionality, NFT support or in-game currency.
Shock breeds innovation
Meanwhile, the outright ban on integration of blockchain and NFT within Minecraft has shocked the blockchain developercommunity, because it disrupted emerging Web 3.0-based game platforms built on top of the Minecraft platform such as NFT Worlds.
NFT Worlds, which is a crypto-enabled games platform launched in October,has now declared that it would build its own “Minecraft”, as result of the latter’s abrupt decision to ban NFT access. NFT Worlds consists of nearly 200 independent teams from projects building on its platform and a rapidly growing player count of almost 100,000 players who have registered and were actively playing.
NFT Worlds has already started bringing together the top visionary developers within the Minecraft development ecosystem to join NFT Worlds and has also secured the requisite funds to sustain through the process.
In a lengthy statement, NFT Worlds said it is 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.
NFT Worlds, however, has also clarified that it would be built entirely from the ground up and would not be a rewrite of some open source Minecraft clone, which may likely violate the EULA or still risk legal action. The transition would additionally come with a public facing brand identity change that would be more player friendly.
While the playstyle, look and feel of it would be very familiar to Minecraft players, the game mechanics, graphics, performance optimization and overall improvements are expected to usher in a more accessible and enjoyable playing experience, the NFT Worlds statement said.
Moreover, it added, the new game and platform would be completely untethered from the policy enforcement that Microsoft and Mojang have over Minecraft and would be an open game and platform of NFT Worlds.
The latter’s game access will be entirely free for players and there will never be any credit card pay walls for content, as NFT Worlds was built on the idea that all players should have access to earning, purchasing and owning items and content through in-game play mechanics and currency rewards.
Besides, NFT Worlds would prioritize backward compatibility with existing Minecraft server development plugins and practices to allow for a smooth transition for their creator’s existing content when the time comes, it said.
According to NFT Worlds, as it goes through the transitional period, the launcher and paly pages for NFT Worlds would continue to stay up and be developed to introduce new non-crypto player-attracting features, while its own upcoming game platform is under development.
NFT Worlds is viewing the Minecraft announcement as a manifestation of a battle between two different versions of the future of the web – one that prioritizes shareholder value and profit margins above all else and one that prioritizes the spirit of innovation through independent creators.
It is both a philosophical conflict over what the internet represents and a technological struggle over who will have ownership of digital assets, the NFT Worlds statement said, while adding that the company was fighting for a future with a player-owned and player-operated economy, where all participants benefited from their contributions to the ecosystem.