Blockchain Games Adoption Continues Despite Minecraft Ban

UpOnly | Research #21: Minecraft declares a lack of interest in NFTs while other industry players ramp up efforts

Mojang Studios, makers of the world’s best-selling game Minecraft, has publicly disclosed its stance on adopting blockchain and NFTs for gaming enterprises. The company has outright banned the use of blockchain-related products on its network, a move that severely impacted developers already working on an integration. However, blockchain gaming adoption, especially by traditional gaming studios, continues to thrive despite the ban.

This week’s UpOnly | Research dives deeper into Minecraft’s position on NFTs and their potential impact on the gaming industry. We also discuss the inevitability of blockchain gaming and recent integration efforts by other industry players.

Minecraft bans NFTs, citing exclusion concerns

On July 20, Microsoft-owned Minecraft published an announcement revealing that the “integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something [it] will support or allow.” Minecraft says the ban on NFTs is primarily because such integrations foster scarcity and exclusivity.

According to Minecraft, the company’s current usage guidelines clarify how game developers charge for access while ensuring that all players have access to the same functionality. Minecraft argues that introducing NFTs would conflict against its core values of creative inclusion and playing together. It would also expose players to the speculative and investment mentality synonymous with NFTs, encouraging players to play for profits instead of doing so for fun.

Other downsides highlighted by Minecraft include the possibility that some NFTs cost users more than the money spent to buy them or a situation where the developer siphons user funds or sells tokens at artificially inflated prices. Minecraft concludes because of these disadvantages that, it will not integrate NFTs and other blockchain-related products and also urges developers using Minecraft clients or servers to stay clear of such integrations.

Blockchain gaming and NFTs are almost inevitable

Minecraft’s take on blockchain and NFTs does not reflect the entire public opinion regarding the technology. Additionally, the company’s push to ban blockchain-related products does not reflect inclusivity as it excludes the growing community of open-source developers and players already building on Minecraft. Blockchain-based games foster inclusivity by allowing each player to own and move in-game assets across different games. The possibility of players earning gameplay rewards is another fundamental value proposition that makes blockchain gaming almost inevitable.

Notably, Minecraft left the door open to make a turnaround. The company did acknowledge some benefits of NFTs, such as introducing a play-to-earn model and allowing users to create intrinsic value within gaming environments. Minecraft also vowed to keep paying “close attention to how blockchain technology evolves.”

NFT Worlds to build Web3 native game following Minecraft setback

Blockchain gaming startup NFT Worlds is nursing wounds from the recent Minecraft update. The Ethereum-based project offers third-party blockchain services, including NFT integration on Minecraft servers.

Following the Minecraft update, the floor price of the NFT World NFTs dropped from 3.3 ($4200) ETH to 1.0 ETH ($1400) and has traded within that range in the past seven days. The price of the project’s native token, WRLD, also dropped by similar margins.

NFT Worlds floor price (Source: OpenSea)

(Source: TradingView)

However, the NFT Worlds team has not given up on its quest to take blockchain gaming mainstream. The project’s developers have announced plans to build an independent gaming platform that embodies “many of the core mechanics of Minecraft, but with the modernization and active development, Minecraft has been missing for years.”

Similarly, other industry participants are not letting Minecraft’s negative stance rub off on them. Other gaming giants such as Ubisoft, Konami, and Nintendo have signaled positive interest in NFTs. This week, two major names Square Enix and Bear Games, also made strides toward blockchain adoption.

Square Enix and Bear Games step up blockchain push

This week, Japanese game developer Square Enix partnered with blockchain project Enjin to release its Final Fantasy NFTs. The tokens will be released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Playstation game. The latest development comes barely two months after the company sold its famous title Tomb Raider to fund its blockchain gaming ambition.

Mighty Bear Games, the Singapore-based gaming studio behind successful titles like Butter Royale and Disney Melee Mania, is launching a blockchain gaming division. This week, the company raised $10 million for its first blockchain gaming title, Mighty Action Heroes, expected to go live later this year.

UpOnly’s week in review.

About UpOnly

UpOnly is a first-of-kind data directory that provides insightful and actionable data on the move-to-earn, play-to-earn, and Metaverse gaming fields. We aim to become a one-stop shop for gamers worldwide to identify the most lucrative play-to-earn opportunities and optimize their performance. Alongside our data directory, we will launch a decentralized prediction platform allowing anyone globally to bet on the outcome of play-to-earn and Metaverse gaming events.

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