LONDON: The developers behind the popular online game “Minecraft” announced on Wednesday the decision to ban Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on its platform.
The company described NFTs as antithetical to “Minecraft’s” platform, saying in a statement that the use 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 digital items that belong to the person that purchased it, with the record of purchase kept on an unalterable ledger called the blockchain.
“NFTs are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of the haves and the have-nots,” the statement added. “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.”
Mojang Studios, which is owned by Microsoft, decided to clarify its position on the use of NFTs on its platform after some of its members demanded greater transparency and more precise guidance on new technologies.
“Minecraft” is an online platform where users can build their own virtual worlds and customise them with skins, mods, maps and other assets designed by its 141-million user community.
Because of its model, “Minecraft” represents a natural and attractive potential market for NFTs.
Although Mojang Studios has explicitly prohibited NFTs, it also added that the company “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.”
The NFTs market has boomed in recent years with sales peaking at $12 billion worldwide in January.
Other gaming companies, such as Square Enix and Ubisoft, are toying with NFTs. This week, Square Enix announced that for next year’s 25th anniversary of “Final Fantasy VII” people would be able to purchase physical trading cards with digital versions as NFTs.