Objective thoughts on the NFT Worlds project
NFT Worlds is hot. As of the time of writing this, the floor price is 10 ETH, or ten big ones as I like to say. It was originally free to mint and I still remember it when it was 1 ETH.
In this article, I’m going to lay out pros and cons of the project. So if you’re looking to buy, feel free to consider reading this as part of the research in DYOR.
From My Perspective
As the founder of our build team, I look for platforms / Metaverses where we can best express creativity in designing virtual spaces. From that perspective NFT Worlds is great because it’s very easy to build for.
But as a general builder in the Metaverse and NFT space, I review projects on their longterm viability, not just whether it’s a good flip opportunity. And that is where I have concerns.
What You’re Actually Buying
Let’s take a quick look at what someone gets when they are buying a NFT Worlds NFT.
The generative worlds as described above are created with a random Minecraft seed, because NFT Worlds can’t exist without Minecraft.
Therefore, the NFT collector is buying a Minecraft seed that is only unique to the NFT Worlds platform. The NFT collector isn’t buying a Minecraft seed and owning that seed such that no one else can use it.
This seed, once known can be added to Minecraft (non-NFT version) and get the SAME exact land features.
It’s like the opposite of right-click save.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about all the good things with the project.
And there are many.
It’s “built on top” of Minecraft, inheriting all the 3rd party mods that developers have created.
Here are the big ones that I’ll cover in depth: World Edit, Graphical Shaders, and ReplayMod.
This mod enables builders to create worlds very quickly and efficiently. It was first released in 2010, and used by almost every builder in Minecraft. This allows builders to create very epic structures.
Every blockchain Metaverse needs a tool like this. It’s a huge advantage have a building tool that is 10+ years old and still going.
Most of the people who don’t play Minecraft think it looks like this:
It’s true. That is how Minecraft looks by default.
But it also looks like this:
Shaders makes Minecraft look 100x better, and up to date.
Shaders matter most when it comes to players building structures, which is the quintessential part of the Metaverse since it’s all about development of virtual land.
The following is a structure built in Minecraft, and shown off using shaders. It’s epic.
With the help of shaders, worlds created in NFT Worlds (Minecraft) show extremely well compared to everything else.
It is absolutely inspiring and makes you want to go explore it
ReplayMod is a lesser-used mod which enable builders/players to record their gameplay. It’s mainly used by builders to record themselves building a structure and then used later on to make timelapse videos.
Here is a timelapse of a build from one of my favorite Minecraft build teams.
Timelapse videos are cool because they draw players in. Players get inspired by seeing something being built in real time, then go and build something amazing themselves.
And if they see an amazing creation, they’ll want to go explore it.
I’m not here to fud on anyone’s bags and I’m happy for anyone who made 100x ROI from flipping their NFTs. Also, I want to put a disclaimer that I personally do not own any NFT Lands, so take this with that in mind.
But here are the concerns I see.
It’s “building on top” of Minecraft, which is absolutely not open source
One thing I don’t like about the language used in NFT Worlds is that it’s “bootstrapping the NFT Worlds platform with Minecraft”. To me, this statement implies that Minecraft is open-source and allows developers to build on top of it freely.
On the contrary. Microsoft owns every part of Minecraft- the brand and the code. Yes, they allow developers to create mods on top of it, but basically as long as it makes Minecraft the game better.
Here’s a direct line from its end user license agreement regarding mods:
Any Mods you create for the Game from scratch belong to you (including pre-run Mods and in-memory Mods) and you can do whatever you want with them, as long as you don’t sell them for money / try to make money from them and so long as you don’t distribute Modded Versions of the Game.
So will NFT Lands (Minecraft seeds) that sell on secondary markets where NFT Worlds get a cut be consider as “trying to make money from it”?
There isn’t anything proprietary about NFTWorlds
There are other projects that are built on top of Minecraft. One that comes to mind and came before NFT Worlds is Etherlands. And they’re also selling land as NFTs.
So ask yourself, what’s the probability that another project would come along and do the same thing? If they do, what would that additional supply of land do to NFT Worlds’ prices?
Brands cannot create builds for their business
Microsoft explicitly states this in their terms of service under Constructed Promotions in Minecraft. Here’s the full guidelines.
Why is there a section calling this out? Because brands exploited this prior and Microsoft shut it down in 2016.
So if Microsoft considers NFT projects building their Metaverse in NFT Worlds as a breach of their terms of service, then projects won’t buy land. And if they don’t buy land, prices won’t go up.
And The Uncertainty
There are a lot of unresolved questions. Here’s just some of them.
- Is Microsoft going to allow Play2Earn, via $WRLD?
- How will Microsoft view NFT Worlds? Is it a mod? A private server?
- How will Microsoft handle potential bad press around NFT projects using Minecraft to promote them?
As a conclusion, I see both a bull and bear case for NFT Worlds.
In this scenario, I see Microsoft buy out NFT Worlds as a fast way to get into the Metaverse. The deal could be similar to Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT Studios (anyone else have to make sure they spelled it right, or just me?). In this scenario, everyone’s bags pump and it’s a great outcome for everyone.
Microsoft decides to shut down NFT Worlds because it violates their terms of service. Or that they find it hard to control all the projects building on top of Minecraft and decide to shut them all down. This could be due to some of these projects creating lots of bad press, and the bad press being passed onto Minecraft.
Minecraft players could also complain about NFTs so much that Microsoft takes action. It would be a similar situation to when Ubisoft reversed their decision to roll out NFTs because of player backlash.
It’s 50/50 in my opinion.