Mojang Studios, the makers of the uber-popular Minecraft is taking a page from the classic U.S. anti-drugs playbook, however it appears "Just Say No" is more effective for money-making schemes based on blockchain than it did for narcotics.
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The blog of the studio owned by Microsoft said Wednesday that NFTs in Minecraft were "generally not something we would allow and support." It also stated that it was changing its Minecraft Usage Guides to clarify that blockchain tech would not be allowed to be integrated into the Minecraft client. Furthermore, NFTs built on in-game content (e.g skins, items, mods) are not able to be used to create NFTs.
The devs wrote that blockchain technology's notion of digital ownership is built on "scarcity and exclusion" which "does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusion and playing together." They also said that third party NFTs may end costing players who purchase them, as they rely on the creators of blockchain technology "who could disappear without notice."
It actually happened. A NFT project known as Blockverse that was believed to be built for the Minecraft universe, took an estimated $1.2 million from those early investors who purchased Blockverse characters in NFT form on websites like OpenSeas. The project also had a cryptocurrency called $Diamond. In January, the project creators suddenly took all the money invested and deleted the project website, Discord, and Twitter account. If you're not familiar this, it's commonly referred to as"rug pull. "rug pull," and it's much too common in the crypto world.
The Minecraft developers have left the possibility open of potentially including blockchain tech in the future but they also said "we have no plans of using blockchain technology in Minecraft at the moment."
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You can expect that those initiatives that were trying to integrate Minecraft into the blockchain were not wholly enthused by the news. NFT Worlds, a company that uses blockchain to allow users to purchase NFTs for their Minecraft, a digital world, was severely impacted. The company posted an Discord message to its Twitter account, stating that they were working on solutions "around the Minecraft EULA changes," adding they were even contemplating a shift to create their own Minecraft-like game platform.
In August 2021, data from Statista, Minecraft is still being played by 141 million gamers every month, despite the game being almost 13 years old. Helen Chiang, the Minecraft studio head has stated to Edge Magazine in a 2019 interview that the average age for Minecraft players was 24. But the game is specifically designed to be kid-friendly, Chiang said. The ERSB rating for Minecraft players is 10 years old or up. The fact that there is a money-making investment plan built into the client does raise concerns and could lead to abuse, particularly when you make children susceptible. Edge was said to have been told by Chiang that "We should be precise and straightforward about how we plan on making money from the game."
Roblox is another game that is geared toward children, has taken on the concept of monetization and promotions in game that are geared towards kids. Users are enticed to spend Roblux on in-game items as they visit worlds that are specifically designed to promote brands like Vans, Nike, and Ralph Lauren. However, the company that developed the game updated its community standards in the past year to take an aim at potential use of NFTs in game. Roblox users are not allowed to pay compensation to act as models for assets.