Mojang Says No!
E84: Mojang announces that NFTs and Blockchain are not allowed in Minecraft.
Good morning gamers! Mojang has officially announced that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and Blockchain technology are not allowed in Minecraft. The company wants to ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, and that the game remains a community where everyone has access to the same content. Their official stance reads,
“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”.
Who has been affected? The hardest hit project is seemingly NFT Worlds, a metaverse project which sells virtual land plots in a custom Minecraft server that has generated more than $150 million in trading volume. Other popular projects built in the Minecraft platform include Llamascape (now merged with Gridcraft) and Critterz MC.
NFT and Crypto integration within video games is a widely rejected concept by gamers, but some publishers remain optimistic about the opportunity. We’ve seen GameStop invest $100 million into their own NFT marketplace, SquareEnix lead a $2 million funding round in The Sandbox Game, Ubisoft implement NFTs into Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Konami release commemorative NFTs for the 35th Castelvania anniversary and the Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson say (during their Q4 2021 earnings call) that collectible NFTs are “an important part of the future of our industry”.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Xbox Head Phil Spencer believes that NFTs “feel more exploitative than about entertainment” and PlayStation’s VP of Network Advertising Grace Chen adamantly stated that the digital collectibles component of their PlayStation Stars loyalty program are ”definitely not NFTs”. Steam even went as far as banning all crypto related games from their marketplace while the Epic Games Store is taking a more neutral approach and deciding not to interfere by letting developers build what they want, and users to play what they want.
Ubisoft - Bad News
During Ubisoft’s recent financial call, the publisher announced that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has been delayed to 2023/2024 because they “want to make a video game industry brand […] something that is perfect”. The action-adventure game was initially revealed at E3 in 2021 and will be released on Microsoft Windows PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Amazon Luna and Google Stadia.
Ubisoft also announced that it has stopped the development of Ghost Recon Frontline (Battle Royale), Splinter Cell VR and two other unannounced titles as a part of their strategy to “reduce operation costs and support positive growth in the years ahead”. A smaller unannounced premium game, rumoured to be Assassin’s Creed: Rift, was originally planned to be released in 2022-2023 but has now also been delayed to 2023-2024.
From what we know so far, Ubisoft’s current projects include,
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope (releasing October 20, 2022)
Skull and Bones (releasing November 8, 2022)
The Division Heartland
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
Assassin’s Creed Infinity
Unannounced premium game (Assassin’s Creed: Rift)
Splinter Cell remake
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time remake
Immortals Fenyx Rising sequel or spin-off
Multiple mobile games
🥇Congratulations to FPX Esports for winning the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Stage 2 Masters - Copenhagen and to the LA Gladiators for being crowned Overwatch League 2022 Midseason Madness Champions.
PlayStation has officially acquired the esports tournament platform repeat.gg for an undisclosed amount. The website has hosted more than 100,000 tournaments involving more than 2.3 million participants, and will continue to service games and platforms not owned by PlayStation.
Valorant is the hottest new esport game in the market and alongside their ongoing franchising efforts, Riot Games has also announced a Collegiate Valorant Tournament series. Three events (Fall, Spring and Winter) will feature 128 teams across the United States and Canada. The events will take place online until the grand finals which will be hosted using an offline LAN format in July 2023. Winners will be awarded scholarship prizes and players must be in good academic standing.
FaZe Clan officially started being publicly traded on the NASDAQ last week under the ticker FAZE. The $725 million merger deal that got them to this point had finally closed, but their stock price fell by more than 25% after the first full day of being traded.
Last week’s IEM Cologne grand finals match between FaZe and Natus Vincere peaked at 1.25 million viewers, making it the most-watched non-major in CS:GO history. The best-of-5 finals match is also recognized as the fifth most watched series ever in CS:GO, with FaZe Clan now being the undisputed best team in the game.
FIFA 23 released the official reveal trailer last week showcasing EA Sports’ new Hypermotion 2 technology, gameplay and more.
Call of Duty: Warzone is releasing a mid-season update which will include the Model T-800 and T-1000 Terminators from Terminator 2 (1991).
Saints Row reboot principal designer Damien Allen says he’s played the new game and it is a Saints Row game “at its core”.
Haven Studios new game is already playable, the studio has grown to 100 staff and they’ve hired Rainbow Six Seige’s technical architect.
Gears of War 6 campaign development has started at The Coalition. A new job listing was spotted looking for campaign developers.
Destiny 2 released a teaser trailer for what’s to come in the series. Bungie will have a game showcase on August 23rd.
Platinum Games says they’re working on a “large scale” unannounced IP. The IP is reportedly being managed by a major game publisher.
Mortal Kombat’s sequel movie will once again be directed by Simon McQuoid. The series could head towards a multiverse-style direction.
MultiVersus announced that Lebron James and Rick & Morty will be joining the game as playable characters on July 26th.
Game Review - Stray
Stray is an adventure game developed by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapuma Interactive. Players play as a cat, from the third-person perspective, who was separated from family and must solve an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city.
The game is a wonderful experience that allows players to take part in cat-like activities such as scratching carpets, knocking over items and even meowing on command. The story is great, as it is unpredictable, which keeps the excitement factor. However, the world is full of darkness since there’s no natural light. The game is dynamic, where the sounds can change based on the different terrains, and it does not get overwhelming. Players will see themselves developing a wholesome connection to the game.
As an indie game, Stray exceeds all expectations and PlayStation players can play it for free with PS Plus extra, so it is worth a try. The puzzles needed to be completed in the game alone demonstrates how much work the developers put into the game.
It is with great pleasure that we give Stray a Purr-fect score of A-.
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