'Minecraft' News: Developer Mojang Faces Backlash Over EULA Agreements, Prompts Switch [VIDEO]
Thanks to E3 2014, last week was an enormous week for gaming. But if you were huddled by your PC reading a post from Minecraft developer Mojang, it was as if the world itself was coming to an end.
The whole shebang itself began a little over a week ago, but the exact start date or opening shot is harder to place, thanks to deleted comments and moderated threads. A conversation between a server operator and Mojang employee Erik "Grum" Broes looks to have been the culprit. Add in the fun that is arm chair experts, "my dad's a lawyer" types, and mistranslation and miscommunication, and a Minecraft shit storm erupted.
Accusations of "pay-to-win" and comparisons of Mojang to EA were made, but here's the long and short of it -- players looking to share their Minecraft experience have the option of joining and/or running servers for the game's multiplayer mode. As servers can be player run, there's thousands upon thousands of servers, and just as many websites dedicated to helping players find them. Theoretically, there could be as many servers as there are players, and just like players, can differ wildly, operating with different rules, themes, and so on.
Running a server takes money, and where money's involved, you get unscrupulous people who see a way to make a quick and easy buck by charging players to join their server, or requiring payment for ranks, materials, etc. This practice has always been illegal, and against the game's EULA, ,or, "end-user license agreement" if you will, i.e., letting the purchaser/player, use the game how they see fit. Not that Mojang is against players making money from the game, but not in such a way that anyone gets taken advantage of.
The only thing was that with so many servers, enforcing rules is a beast of a project. Penned Minecraft Creator Notch himself on the matter, "I don't even know how many emails we've gotten from parents, asking for their hundred dollars back their kid spent on an item pack on a server we have no control over. This was never allowed, but we didn't crack down on it because we're constantly incredibly swamped in other work."
So when what is technically a violation becomes more and more commonplace and seen by more and more players, it gives of the perception that practices like selling "kits" or buying ranks is actually allowed.
So when Grum pointed out this wasn't the case, hundreds of people assumed the EULA was changed to reflect something "new" that was always there. After hundreds of pages of forum posts and tweets raised holy hell, Mojang finally cleared the air with an easy to understand blog post, wherein they revealed that players, because of their incessant bitchfest and infantile whining, can now legitmately make money by hosting a server, provided they follow these basic rules:
* You are allowed to charge players to access your server
* You are allowed to accept donations
* You are allowed to provide in-game advertising or sponsorship opportunities
* You are allowed to sell in-game items so long as they don’t affect gameplay
* You cannot charge real-world cash for in-game currency
* Don’t pretend to be us.
Pretty simple, right? Well, if all that's not clear enough, make sure to check the follow up Q&A post if there's anything else you still don't have a handle on. If your head hurts too much to process everything, than just watch a truly epic Beetlejuice themed rollercoaster below.