Rockstar Games announces ban on NFTs, crypto on GTA V servers

Rockstar Games has announced bans on NFTs and cryptocurrency on online Grand Theft Auto V servers. The company confirmed last week that using digital currencies or virtual assets to create content such as stories, games and missions that profit from sponsorships is prohibited.

Some online servers had been using NFTs and crypto tokens to give players ownership of unique assets or to provide exclusive benefits to returning players. In some cases, Grand Theft Auto V servers awarded NFT cars and weapons.

The statement reads that “reasonable fan creativity” is encouraged and that the platform wishes roleplay servers will “thrive in a safe and friendly manner” in the future.

GTA Online’s roleplaying servers

For years, fans have operated “roleplaying servers” for GTA V, which allows for fan-made modifications. It also allows players to take on the roles of non-player characters (NPCs) in the GTA world and interact with one another online.

The roleplaying servers are popular because they enable players to have sales hubs for everything Rockstar would instead not offer within their games. This includes licensed music, sponsorship offers and loot boxes.

Famous rapper Lil Durk recently launched “The Trenches” roleplaying server, which sold in-game items such as houses and vehicles for cryptocurrency. The 30-year-old rapper created this initiative to provide a platform for emerging artists and producers to stream their music via The Trenches’ specially-made radio broadcasting feature.

Lil Durk’s Only the Family Gaming organization posted on Twitter on Saturday that it would completely close down the server after receiving a warning from Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive.

“We have no choice but to comply with their demands, as we intend to do right by Take-Two and Rockstar. We will be working with them to find an amicable solution to this matter,” the post reads.

Another popular modded server by Loud, a Brazilian gaming organization, and its Web3-focused parent organization, Spacecaps, may follow suit. The Snackclub division of the company operates the Cidade Alta GTA server, which sells NFT special items.

After receiving a warning from Rockstar Games, Loud co-founder Matthew Ho said the company would make the necessary changes to its server within 14 days.

“Modded experiences in our server were created for experimental/proof of concept and were in no way core to the original experience. We’ve validated an interesting model and look forward to applying these learnings to new platforms,” Ho said.

Minecraft also bans NFTs and crypto tokens

Rockstar Games is one of the many companies to prohibit NFTs and cryptocurrency transactions. In July, Microsoft and Swedish video game developer Mojang announced a ban on digital currency in fan-run Minecraft servers.

Mojang allows Minecraft server operators to charge fees for access to their personalized online experiences, but the studio considers NFTs to be antithetical to the “spirit of Minecraft.” According to the studio, this is mainly due to the scarcity model of NFTs, which can limit the ability to obtain features on specific servers.

However, the developer acknowledged that specific independent Minecraft servers enable NFTs to comprise in-game items or provide NFT rewards to players, which is why projects like the Polygon-based NFT Worlds exist.

In Polygon-based NFT Worlds projects, Minecraft assets can be converted into NFTs and players can buy virtual land plots for use on a customized Minecraft server.