Minecraft, the popular sandbox video game, has banned a fan-made server that allowed players to earn Bitcoin by completing in-game quests. The server, called Satlantis, was shut down by the game’s developer Mojang after it violated its policy on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies.
Satlantis: A Bitcoin-friendly Minecraft server
Satlantis was an independent Minecraft server run by the game’s fans that enabled players to earn satoshi, the smallest unit of Bitcoin, by completing in-game quests using play-to-earn functionalities. The server also allowed players to buy and sell in-game items and assets using Bitcoin.
The server was launched in July 2021 and attracted over 10,000 players in its first month. The server’s founder, David Dineno, said that Satlantis was designed to introduce Bitcoin to a younger audience and to create a more engaging and rewarding gaming experience.
“We wanted to create a game that shares its profits with players,” Dineno said. “We believe that gaming can be a powerful tool for education and social change, and we wanted to use Bitcoin as a way to empower players and teach them about sound money.”
Mojang’s NFT ban and request to remove play-to-earn features
However, Satlantis ran into trouble with Mojang, the game’s developer and a subsidiary of Microsoft. Mojang has a strict policy against NFTs and cryptocurrencies, which it considers as harmful to the environment and the gaming community.
In April 2021, Mojang announced that it would not allow any NFTs or crypto-related content on its official Minecraft Marketplace, where players can buy and sell user-generated content. Mojang said that NFTs and cryptocurrencies are “not appropriate for our community” and that they “have no place within the Minecraft ecosystem.”
Mojang also warned that it would take action against any fan-made servers or mods that violate its policy. In September 2021, Mojang contacted Satlantis and asked it to remove the play-to-earn features from its server. The server accepted the request and removed the feature two days later.
Satlantis community reacts to the shutdown
The Satlantis community expressed their disappointment and frustration with Mojang’s decision. Many players said that they enjoyed earning Bitcoin while playing Minecraft and that they learned a lot about the technology and its potential.
The Satlantis founder also stood behind the play-to-earn model and criticized Mojang for stifling innovation. He said that Satlantis was a successful experiment that proved that gaming can be more fun and profitable for players.
“The game that shares its profits with players works. And it works well,” Dineno said. “All of the time, money, and energy that we put into this game together will not be forsaken by a few dinosaurs at some conglomerate.”
Dineno advised players to withdraw their satoshi from the server, which he said would be diligently processed. He also pledged to honor all in-game assets, including sats, prize pools, ASICs, players’ premium battle pass status and all other transferable data.
Satlantis looks for alternative platforms
Despite the setback, the Satlantis team is not giving up on their vision of creating a Bitcoin-based gaming platform. They said that they are actively exploring alternative platforms that “encourage innovation instead of stifling it.”
They also hinted at a possible collaboration with Gods Unchained, a blockchain-based trading card game that recently launched its own play-to-earn features. Gods Unchained is one of the most popular crypto games in the market, with over 500,000 registered users and over $100 million worth of cards traded.
The Satlantis team said that they are impressed by Gods Unchained’s technology and community, and that they are looking forward to working with them on future projects.
“We are excited to announce that we have been in talks with Gods Unchained for some time now,” the Satlantis team said. “We are confident that together we can create something truly amazing for both of our communities.”