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In brief: Despite the continuing consumer pushback against NFTs and blockchain technology being integrated into games, companies keep shoehorning them into titles for the benefit of players (translation: to make more money). Microsoft-owned Mojang Studios, however, is shunning the trend, confirming that the tech won't be officially allowed on the world's best-selling game, Minecraft.
A lot of gamers worry about the integration of NFTs or some form of blockchain technology into their favorite titles, potentially spoiling an experience they've enjoyed for years. Some of these people have been asking for clarification on Mojang's stance toward non-fungible tokens, to which the company posted a lengthy response.
The number of people playing Minecraft was estimated to be more than 141 million last August, and the game sits on top of the best-sellers-of-all-time list with over 238 million units sold. Mojang notes that some of these players and creators use Minecraft to create, trade, and sell NFTs like skins or worlds.
Mojang adds that companies have recently launched NFT implementations that are associated with Minecraft world files and skin packs. These can be earned by performing activities in and out of the game or by purchasing them directly.
"Each of these uses of NFTs and other blockchain technologies creates digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusion and playing together," Mojang explained.
The company said the speculative pricing and investment mentality of NFTs encourages profiteering and takes the focus away from the game. It also expressed concerns that some third-party NFTs may not be reliable, potentially leaving buyers empty-handed. Disappearing asset managers and NFTs sold at artificially or fraudulently inflated prices are other problems Mojang doesn't want associated with a game that has a vast number of young players.
The post summarizes with, "[B]lockchain 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."
There has been plenty of evidence proving that NFTs within games is something most people don't want: a fan backlash against the Stalker 2 devs who later removed NFTs from the upcoming game; Ubisoft shutting down NFT support for Ghost Recon Breakpoint; and even the game developers themselves speaking out against the practice. We also saw owners of NFTs from F1 Delta Time left with almost worthless tokens after game shut down.