Recently, we’ve received some feedback from members of the community asking for clarification and transparency regarding Mojang Studios and Minecraft’s position on NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and blockchain.
While we are in the process of updating our Minecraft Usage Guidelines to offer more precise guidance on new technologies, we wanted to take the opportunity to share our view that integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something we will support or allow. Let’s have a closer look!
WHAT IS AN NFT?
An NFT is a unique, non-editable, digital token that is part of a blockchain and often purchased with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. An NFT can be associated with any form of digital asset such as an MPEG or a GIF, but the most common use case today is digital art like JPEGs. The purchase of an NFT provides the token that states the ownership of the original digital file. Yet, with any digital file, that file can be copied, moved, or even deleted. NFTs and blockchain have also been associated with speculation, where prices are driven up rapidly and as we have recently seen, may fall rapidly.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT TO MINECRAFT?
If you’re a player or creator actively involved in the buying, selling, or trading of NFTs that make use of Minecraft (like skins or worlds), we strongly suggest you go through the information below. Otherwise, it’s likely these changes won’t affect you.
POLICY ON NFTS AND MINECRAFT
In our Minecraft Usage Guidelines, we outline how a server owner can charge for access, and that all players should have access to the same functionality. We have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content. NFTs, however, can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft.
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. Our reasons follow.
Some companies have recently launched NFT implementations that are associated with Minecraft world files and skin packs. Other examples of how NFTs and blockchain could be utilized with Minecraft include creating Minecraft collectible NFTs, allowing players to earn NFTs through activities performed on a server, or earning Minecraft NFT rewards for activities outside the game.
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. NFTs are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of the haves and the have-nots. The speculative pricing and investment mentality around NFTs takes the focus away from playing the game and encourages profiteering, which we think is inconsistent with the long-term joy and success of our players.
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. We recognize that creation inside our game has intrinsic value, and we strive to provide a marketplace where those values can be recognized.
As such, to ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, 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. We will also be paying close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time to ensure that the above principles are withheld and determine whether it will allow for more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming. However, we have no plans of implementing blockchain technology into Minecraft right now.
We hope to have more to share with you soon. In the meantime, if you’re interested in reading up on our guidelines, you can find them here. Stay tuned!
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