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Minecraft’s snub of NFTs is a Web3 paradigm shift

Mojang // Illustration by Kate Walker

Minecraft’s snub of NFTs is a Web3 paradigm shift


The Future. Minecraft-developer Mojang said in a statement that, for the time being, it has no interest in NFTs… which may put the kibosh on existing crypto projects within the game. Since Mojang is a subsidiary of Microsoft, it may also show where the tech giant itself stands on the subject — a big 180 from nearly every other Big Tech company dipping its toes in the world of Web3.

Equal playing field
Minecraft doesn’t want your money, reports Fast Company.

  • Mojang said it wasn’t interested in implementing NFTs in Minecraft because they “create a scenario of haves and have nots,” “promote scarcity and exclusion,” and “encourage profiteering.”
  • It would seem that Minecraft leadership wants to avoid the culture of “microtransactions” that has taken over much of gaming — a fair stance considering that so much of the game is focused on kid creativity (Roblox doesn’t mind, however).
  • The company may also be trying to avoid headaches like the heist of Axie Infinity, which saw hackers steal $625 million from its crypto network.

The announcement may come as a shock to independent Minecraft NFT projects like “NFT Worlds,” “Critterz,” and “Survival Game NFT,” which have collectively raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the game.

Mojang hasn’t closed the door entirely, saying that the company is paying “close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time to… determine whether it will allow for more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming.”

No economy
Does Microsoft know something that other game developers don’t know? Xbox chief Phil Spencer echoed a similar sentiment to Mojang when he said that, right now, NFTs in gaming feel “more exploitive than about entertainment,” so he “doesn’t want that kind of content.”

Considering that the NFT market has cooled considerably — gaming NFTs had a total loss of $50 million during Q1, according to NonFungible — the environment may not be right to introduce them even if they wanted to.

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