Microsoft-owned video game Minecraft banned NFT tokens from its game on Wednesday, becoming the latest game to join the battle between the traditional gaming world and Web3.
“In order to provide Minecraft players with a secure and inclusive experience, blockchain technology is not allowed to be integrated into our client and server applications, and Minecraft in-game content, such as worlds, skins, character items, or other mods, cannot be used by blockchain technology to create scarce digital asset,” Minecraft studio Mojang said in a statement.
While Minecraft has acknowledged the potential benefits of introducing NFTs into its games, namely the provision of in-game collectibles and play-to-earn-style rewards, it has also pointed out the disadvantages:
“NFTs do not include our entire community and create a haves and have-nots scenario,” the company said. “The speculative pricing and investment mentality around the NFT takes the focus off the game and encourages speculation, which we believe is incompatible with the long-term joy and success of our players.”
Minecraft decides to ban blockchain and NFT integration
The biggest loser in the Minecraft announcement was NFT Worlds, a Web3 gaming project focused on integrating a third-party blockchain and NFT Minecraft. The project’s NFT prices dropped by 70% after the announcement, although the project’s developers say they won’t give up on the community. According to CoinMarketCap, the price of the project’s own WRLD token has also dropped by 65% according to the news release.
The announcement comes amid a debate between traditional gamers who oppose NFTs and Web3 believers who advocate them. Arguments for and against NFTs in games usually boil down to two schools of thought: NFT haters don’t want to overfund the sector, while NFT enthusiasts see the technology as a way to deal with what they see as money-hungry publishers.
Minecraft’s vision for NFTs is not unique in the landscape of known gaming properties. Valve has long banned NFT and blockchain integration from its gaming marketplace Steam, a hotbed for trading in-game non-NFT digital assets such as character skins. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, says it has also stayed away from integrating NFTs into any of its own games, although it hasn’t banned games that use them from a market like Valve.
Minecraft’s decision could be a test of what needs to happen with Microsoft’s plan for the metaverse. The software giant has pledged to focus on this area with a planned $69 billion acquisition of probable gaming Activision.
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