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Policy Change Over the Monetization of Minecraft Servers is Pissing Fans Off, Notch is Giving Up

minecraft 06-17-14-1

In the avalanche of E3 2014 news, it was surprisingly easy to miss a pretty notable announcement from the studio behind indie mega-hit Minecraft – the owners of the game’s dedicated servers would soon be able to monetize their servers, and profit from them.

post on Mojang’s website describes the limitations of the monetization of Minecraft servers, points out that server owners can charge for access to their server, so long as the fee is the same for all users, but here’s the catch – gameplay elements cannot be restricted to the paid tiers. This means if a mod creator wants people to have to pay for his or her fun new mod, they can’t.

What can be sold for money are advertisement slots in their worlds, and in game items – but the items have to be cosmetic and they cannot affect gameplay either. This means the sale of potions, swords, and so on are completely forbidden. Special items, cosmetic mods, and minigames can be sold for money, but again everyone on the server must be able to access them. The aforementioned items or mods, again, cannot affect gameplay, otherwise the owner cannot charge a fee for them.

The final brick in this house of stone is that no servers are exempt from these policies, and that all servers must comply with the EULA by August 1st. Players have been crying out over the line that has been drawn in the EULA policy, where the emphasis is clearly on the cosmetic items, and not the creation of mods. They’re worried they won’t recoup the costs of running their own server, as the majority of players on PC tend to focus more on content, and not so much cosmetics (alright they do try to make the game pretty too).

Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, the creator of Minecraft, is at a loss. He took to his own personal twitter to showcase his utter exhaustion over the subject:

“Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for trying to do the right thing is not my gig.”

This was clearly hyperbole, but still – it’s not helping the matter by essentially throwing a fit over fans’ real concerns with dedicated servers. Many feel wronged, and they feel like Mojang is focusing too much on the cosmetic side of content creation, and not the gameplay or modding side.

Do you think Mojang is right in setting up their policy as such? If you play Minecraft, have you ever run your own server – and if so, would you consider a dedicated server? Is their new policy a complete turnoff?

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Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer, Nicchiban, and Pretentious Media. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer.