Minecraft Creator Notch: ‘Glad They’re Cracking Down’ on Bitcoin Reward Servers

Minecraft recently updated its usage guidelines to ban play-to-earn models and token-gating functionality on fan-operated game servers, clearing the way for developer Mojang to reportedly threaten action against a server that paid players in Bitcoin. A prominent figure has now come out in support of Mojang’s move: Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson.

Notch, who sold Mojang and the Minecraft IP to Microsoft in 2014, replied in a tweet thread about Decrypt’s article covering the Bitcoin server.

“I’m glad they’re cracking down on nonsense like this,” Notch wrote.

Decrypt asked Notch for further clarification on his stance regarding Minecraft servers that utilize play-to-earn and NFT-gating features, but did not immediately hear back.

Satlantis, an independent, fan-operated Minecraft server that paid players Bitcoin rewards for completing in-game tasks, announced on Friday that it would remove the earning feature after receiving a demand from Mojang.

In a Discord post, Satlantis founder David Dineno said that “Mojang threatened to block our server IP and cease-and-desist our server host if we didn’t comply.” Satlantis removed the feature and said that it would migrate the experience to another gaming platform.

Microsoft has not yet replied to Decrypt’s request to confirm the takedown request.

Minecraft’s usage guidelines were updated recently to add new restrictions around blockchain functionality. Player-run servers for the game cannot utilize play-to-earn models that let players “earn real-world or out-of-game currency or in-game currency that can be cashed out for real-world currency.”

Additionally, Minecraft finally implemented its long-awaited ban on using NFT ownership to restrict access to in-game features. That ban was announced in July 2022 but hadn’t been implemented nearly a year later, Decrypt reported. It is now in effect.

Microsoft bought Mojang and the Minecraft IP in 2014 for $2.5 billion, and Notch departed the studio he founded as a billionaire. Forbes estimates his current personal fortune at $1.2 billion.

Notch has not been officially involved with Minecraft since then, and was apparently blocked from attending the game’s 10-year anniversary event in 2019 following a string of controversial and transphobic comments on Twitter. 

“His comments and opinions do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang and are not representative of Minecraft,” a Microsoft representative told Variety in 2019.

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