The video game Minecraft, released in 2011, is getting a Web 3 update thanks to some developers not directly affiliated with Microsoft (NFT Worlds).
NFT: the NFT Worlds project
NFT Worlds is a project built on third-party Minecraft servers using the Polygon protocol. Polygon is a sidechain that offers low transaction fees for its users.
The novelty brought by the NFT Worlds layer allows Minecraft players to access Web 3 features, such as an online store where they will be able to purchase various items (in the form of NFT) to enhance their game experience. These purchases will be possible using the ERC-20 $WRLD token.
For future developments, the NFT Worlds team wants to make the experience as inexpensive as possible by using EIP-2771, an interface allowing for cheaper “meta transactions” on Ethereum.
NFT Worlds and Minecraft
Part of the Minecraft software is available as open source, anyone with the necessary technical skills can contribute to its development. Unlike its competitor Robux, Minecraft has no established economy or digital currency of its own.
NFT Worlds offers Minecraft users a metaverse experience in an existing game that previously lacked any marketplace or cryptocurrency-based exchange system. This update is great news for Minecraft fans and NFTs collectors.
Minecraft and Microsoft
In 2014, the developer of Minecraft (Mojang Studios) was acquired for a whopping $2.5 billion. Microsoft notes that since that acquisition, the player base has steadily grown from 131 million monthly active users in 2020 to over 141 million active users in 2021.
The co-founders did not choose Microsoft without reason. They believe that Microsoft is more favorable to developers involved in Web 3. The giant would also be less strict than its competitors, such as Roblox.
More generally, Microsoft seems to be very supportive of the development of the metaverse ecosystem, as its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for more than $68.7 billion last month was in part intended to help it develop its own ecosystem, according to a recent press release.
Building Web 3 opportunities on a centralized game owned by a digital giant is not without risk. ArkDev and the other NFt Worlds team members are aware that they remain dependent on Microsoft, which could terminate their project at any time through legal action.
Moreover, Microsoft teams have not yet formally accepted the idea. Their teams are watching from the sidelines, it’s not a formal green light, “but I think in their eyes, we are the best scenario for someone using their product” says a team member.