Posted July 22, 2022, 2:49 PMUpdated July 25, 2022 at 2:42 PM
Microsoft, against the market, on NFTs? While the big tech players are making more announcements (Twitter, Spotify, Instagram, Snapchat) in this area, the Redmond giant is saying no to non-fungible tokens. In a blog post, Microsoft-owned Mojang says it will no longer accept them in its Minecraft game.
Some players use NFTs to sell items created on the platform. These include “skins” (skins), which allow, among other things, to change the appearance of his avatar, his physique, but also his outfit and the accessories he wears. These creations can be purchased on the platform through Minecoins, Minecraft’s virtual currency. Minecoin is obtained in exchange for traditional currencies, such as the dollar. A similar operation, here, for new metaverse platforms linked to a blockchain such as The Sandbox. But Minecraft is not from this world.
A game, not a business
For those responsible for the famous game published by Swedish company Mojang Studios, bought by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, NFTs “can create a model of scarcity and exclusion that violates the rules and the ‘ spirit’ of the NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, associate a digital object with a certificate of authenticity that guarantees official ownership to the sole holder.
The use of the NFT, which can only be linked to one owner, therefore, according to the publisher, goes against the “spirit” of Minecraft, which is that of “a community where everyone has access to the same content”. Officials are also concerned that the emergence of an NFT marketplace in Minecraft will “drip profits” and “distract users from the game.” They also point to the risk of manipulation and fraud, already seen in certain NFTs, whose price is artificially inflated.
Mojang also indicates that it has no plans, at least in the short term, to allow the use of the blockchain on which the NFTs in particular are based… even if it retains the option to change its mind later. Fountain, I won’t drink your water? Perhaps the editor will change his mind as the crypto market recovers from the crash?
Minecraft is the best-selling game in history, with over 200 million copies sold. Now described as a metaverse, it seemed ideal for hosting NFTs, which claim to host exchanges and guarantee their rarity in these universes.
No synergy with MetaMask
However, 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 trading venture. Conversely, others such as 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 available for purchase as NFT.
In the case of Minecraft, this setback also thwarts a serious forecast that has been running since the spring. In March, parent company Microsoft first gained a foothold in the Web3 sector (bringing together blockchain, crypto and NFT technologies) by participating in the $450 million funding round of New York start-up ConsenSys . This is known for publishing the MetaMask wallet which is one of the most popular for buying NFTs. From there to coming up with a bridge with the famous sandbox game, there was only one step.