Mojang has drawn a line in the sand against NFTs in Minecraft, saying in an upda (opens in new tab)te posted today that NFT integration with the game is "generally not something we will support or allow."
The update begins with a quick rundown of what NFTs are, including a note about their extreme volatility, before laying out the current policies on Minecraft servers. The overall goal of those policies, Mojang said, is "to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content." NFTs, on the other hand, are specifically designed to "create models of scarcity and exclusion," which obviously conflicts with that principle. And so, they're out.
"To ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our client and server applications, nor may Minecraft in-game content such as worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods, be utilized by blockchain technology to create a scarce digital asset," Mojang wrote.
The update was apparently prompted by the fact that numerous Minecraft-associated NFTs and play-to-earn servers are already available, taking advantage of the gap in official policy and dividing the community into "the haves and the have-nots," Mojang said.
Also a matter of concern is that some NFTs "may not be reliable and may end up costing players who buy them," which is a remarkably polite way of putting it: The unofficial Minecraft NFT game Blockverse (opens in new tab), which disappeared with more than $1.2 million in January, is just one of many examples of NFT-related malfeasance (opens in new tab) and criminality (opens in new tab) we've seen over the past few years. This is particularly relevant to Minecraft because its audience tends to skew younger than many other games, and is thus likely more susceptible to scams.
The official Minecraft usage guidelines (opens in new tab) are being updated to address the matter in detail, but the short, bottom-line version is a hard no: "NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods" are strictly disallowed.
That's not necessarily the end of it: Mojang said it will continue to monitor the evolution of blockchain technology to determine whether it will "enable more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming," suggesting that official support could be possible at some point in the future. For now, though, "we have no plans of implementing blockchain technology into Minecraft."