Posted July 22, 2022, 2:49 PMUpdated on July 25, 2022 at 2:42 pm
Microsoft, against the market, in NFTs? While the big tech players are making more announcements in this area (Twitter, Spotify, Instagram, Snapchat), the Redmond giant is saying no to non-fungible tokens. In a blog post, Microsoft-owned publisher Mojang said it would no longer accept their Minecraft games.
Some players use NFTs to sell items created on the platform. These include “skins” (skins), which allow changing the appearance of his avatar, his body, but also his clothes and the accessories he wears, among other things. These creations can be purchased on the platform with Minecoins, Minecraft’s virtual currency. Minecoins are acquired in exchange for conventional currencies, such as dollars. A similar operation, here, is a new metaverse platform connected to a blockchain such as The Sandbox. But Minecraft does not come from this world.
A game, not a business
For those responsible for the famous game published by Mojang Studios, the Swedish company bought by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, NFTs can “create a model of scarcity and exclusion that is at odds with the rules and ‘spirit’ of the game. NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens , associates a digital object with a certificate of authenticity that guarantees official ownership to its sole holder.
The use of NFT, which can only be associated with one owner, is thus contrary to the “spirit” of Minecraft, i.e. “a community where everyone has access to the same content”, according to the publisher. Officials also worry that the emergence of an NFT marketplace in Minecraft will “encourage profit” and “distract users from the game.” They also point to the risk of manipulation and fraud, which has already been observed with some NFTs, whose prices are artificially inflated.
Mojang also indicates that it does not plan, at least in the short term, to allow the use of the blockchain on which NFTs are specifically based… even if it reserves the possibility of changing its mind later. Fountain, I will not drink your water? Maybe the editor will change his mind when the crypto market recovers from the crash?
Minecraft is the best-selling game in history, with over 200 million units sold. Now described as a metaverse, it seems ideal for receiving NFTs, which claim to organize exchanges and guarantee their rarity in this universe.
No compatibility with Metamask
Although several players in the video game world have positioned themselves against the use of NFTs, in line with many players who see it as a commercial venture. Conversely, others like EA, Konami or Ubisoft have embraced this trend – with varying degrees of success. More recently, Square Enix announced that the character Cloud, from the Final Fantasy VII franchise, is being sold as an NFT.
In the case of Minecraft, this setback also thwarts a serious forecast that has been running since spring. In March, parent company Microsoft made its first foray into the Web3 sector (combining blockchain, crypto and NFT technologies) by participating in New York start-up Consensus’ $450 million funding round. It is known for releasing the Metamask wallet, which is the most popular for buying NFTs. From there to imagining a bridge with the famous sandbox game, there was only one step.