Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted that the company doesn’t have any plans of banning non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) from its games. This comes as Microsoft-owned Minecraft announced that it will soon ban the use of NFTs on community-run Minecraft game servers.
“Developers should be free to decide how to build their games, and you are free to decide whether to play them. I believe stores and operating system makers shouldn’t interfere by forcing their views onto others. We definitely won’t,” Sweeney wrote in a tweet.
In response to the post, a netizen asked Sweeney if NFTs fall under the category of “hateful/discriminatory content”. Responding to the user, Sweeney suggested that Epic Games does make “editorial” judgments, but NFTs don’t currently fall under them. “A store could choose to make no such judgments and host anything that’s legal, or choose to draw the line at mainstream acceptable norms as we do, or accept only games that conform to the owner’s personal beliefs,” he tweeted.
On Wednesday, Minecraft released a public statement stating that the company has decided to ban NFTs o ensure that the players have a safe and inclusive experience. “..blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our client and server applications, nor may Minecraft in-game content such as worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods, be utilized by blockchain technology to create a scarce digital asset,” the company said in a post.
According to Minecraft developers, NFTs and other blockchain technologies create digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which does not align with its values of creative inclusion and playing together. The company also underlined the speculative pricing and investment mentality around NFTs which takes the focus away from playing the game and encourages profiteering. “We are also concerned that some third-party NFTs may not be reliable and may end up costing players who buy them. Some third-party NFT implementations are also entirely dependent on blockchain technology and may require an asset manager who might disappear without notice.”
It should be noted that there have been instances where NFTs were sold at artificially or fraudulently inflated prices. Meanwhile, Epic Games is a leading interactive entertainment company and provider of 3D engine technology. It operates Fortnite, the world’s largest game with over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections. Epic has also developed Unreal Engine, which powers the world’s leading games and is being adopted across industries such as film and television, architecture, automotive, and manufacturing for visualization and simulation.