Minecraft Developers Boot NFT Projects, Including XRPL Powered ZerpCraft

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ZerpCraft is an XRPL-powered gaming project and RippleX development grantee, which allows Minecraft server administrators the ability to mint property NFTs and monetize land in their game worlds.  

“After the launch of XLS-20, the ZerpCraft plugin will be made open source allowing any Minecraft server administrator the ability to mint ZerpCraft NFTs and monetize their server’s land.”

ZerpCraft uses a popular Minecraft add-on called World Guard in combination with a native ZerpCraft plugin to enforce property rights in Minecraft worlds. But it looks like this promising RippleX project will be hamstrung by a restrictive NFT policy recently published by Mojang Studios.

On July 20, 2022, Mojang published an updated set of guidelines on Minecraft and NFTs, which forbid the integration of NFTs and blockchain technologies from using Minecraft art assets, server infrastructure, and worlds.

As such, to ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our Minecraft client and server applications nor may they be utilized to create NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods.”

Mojang felt that blockchain technology fostered profiteering and clashed with the open, inclusive, and carefree nature of Minecraft worlds.

“NFTs are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of the haves and the have-nots. The speculative pricing and investment mentality around NFTs takes the focus away from playing the game and encourages profiteering, which we think is inconsistent with the long-term joy and success of our players.”

The XRPL is now home to many disparate NFT gaming projects, but ZerpCraft was one of the few promising ones with a straightforward implementation that avoided overly predatory monetization policies. Integration of NFT land deeds within an expansive Minecraft world was exciting, but it’s difficult to see how the project moves forward, at least on official Minecraft worlds. 

Minecraft servers can operate in an offline state to circumvent Mojang’s policies and even allow users with cracked clients to join. So it’s not a complete death stroke for ZerpCraft, as it’s possible these offline servers can still implement NFT property ownership. But it certainly puts them in an awkward position, particularly as a RippleX grantee.

Ripple may not want to be seen funding a project explicitly violating the EULA of such a notable gaming studio. Despite the ban, there might be a glimmer of hope for blockchain integration in Minecraft worlds as Mojang’s post includes this statement:

“We will also be paying close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time to ensure that the above principles are withheld and determine whether it will allow for more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming.”

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