Mojang’s Erik “Grum” Broes earlier this month stirred up a lot of anger in the Minecraft community when he reminded charging for ‘perks’ is against their rules, and they were intending to crack down on this type of behavior, particularly on the worst offenders. Previously Mojang had typically turned a blind eye to the behavior, but news of the clampdown sent shivers through the community as players and server owners alike wondered how their favorite servers would continue with potentially little to no income.
But, as it turns out – despite Mojang being described as “literally worse than EA” their new EULA (End User Licence Agreement) actually might be the best of both worlds, helping server operators and protecting regular users from server owners who’re intent on abusing the system. The new approach allows Minecraft Server operators to monetize the servers, including by charging players for access (but the fee must be the same for everyone), they may accept donations and even sell in game advertising or sponsorship. Sale of items in game is also permitted – to a point. Players can buy anything that doesn’t impact gameplay (so you won’t be able to buy a sword which cleaves a mountain in two for example) and they’re also not able to buy in game cash or capes.
“Hosting servers can be expensive. We want to give hosts a way to cover their costs. That said, we don’t want our players to be exploited or to have a frustrating time unless they pay. “These rules are making attempts to prevent Minecraft servers becoming ‘pay-to-win.’ explains Mojang, “We hate the idea of server hosts restricting Minecraft’s features to players who have already bought our game!”
Meanwhile, Marcus “Notch” Persson provided his own comments on situation in his blog post
“”Someone saw that the EULA says you can’t charge for these things, and asked one of the people working at Mojang about it. That person said that yes, it is indeed against the rules, and then everything exploded. A lot of people got the impression that we’re changing the EULA somehow to only now disallow these things, but they were never allowed. A lot of people voiced their concerns. A few people got nasty. Someone said we’re literally worse than EA.
We had discussions about it internally, and eventually had a big meeting where we said that yes, people running servers are a huge part of what makes Minecraft so special, and that they need to be able to pay for the servers. So we came up with all sorts of ways this could be done without ruining the “you don’t pay for gameplay” aspect of Minecraft we all find so important. These rules we’re posted in non-legal speak here: mojang.com/2014/06/lets-talk-server-monetisation (our lawyers are probably having a lot of fun trying to turn that into legal text). There are new rules. These are new exceptions to the EULA. All of these make the rules more liberal than things were before.”
So it would appear that this is a positive change to Minecraft, and hopefully your favorite server won’t be disappearing any time soon. With that said, how well this happens in reality of course remains to be seen.