Why People Are Mad About Minecraft's New Changes

Why People Are Mad About Minecraft's New Changes

Yesterday, Mojang posted an update on their blog answering some questions about what Minecraft server owners are allowed to charge money for. This upset some server owners even more, as it outlaws many of their current business models. It got players angry enough to start a Twitter campaign called #SaveMinecraft, with the goal of preventing Mojang from changing the way multiplayer games currently work in Minecraft.

If you aren't familiar with Minecraft servers, think of it like going to a theme park. Currently, most large Minecraft servers are designed so that you can enter for free, you're presented with options for rides, and you can pay for certain preferential treatment. As of August 1st, the choice for server operators will be to either charge entry for the whole park and all the rides are free, or build a separate theme park, parking lot, and ticket window for every single roller coaster. Server moderators say this would increase their costs too much to be able to implement at a reasonable price to players, so this may put them out of business.

Some people are taking this as the end of multiplayer in Minecraft, which is why #SaveMinecraft was trending on Twitter yesterday:

Gregory Bylos, aka Sterling, is managing director of one of the largest Minecraft multiplayer server networks, Mineplex. He posted "An Open Letter To Notch" which explains in detail why server owners are so unhappy with the enforcement of the Minecraft EULA. The simplest reason relates to how Minecraft was originally released, with a very simple copyright page that states:

Any tools you write for the game from scratch belong to you. You're free to do whatever you want with screenshots and videos of the game, but don't just rip art resources and pass them around. Plugins for the game also belong to you and you can do whatever you want with them, including selling them for money.

Of course, as Minecraft exploded in popularity, they eventually needed to draft "a huge EULA" (as the old copyright page calls it). However, this new agreement was never strictly enforced, until it came up in a conversation with a developer a few weeks ago and caught the Minecraft community's attention.

The biggest issue Mojang is trying to address are the servers that charge hundreds of dollars for gameplay features like equipment or the ability to fly. As Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson said in his post on the topic, which he titled "Literally worse than EA," referencing some of the criticism from this decision:

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.

Disallowing this also has the side effect of disallowing servers that have developed mods and games that function on a League of Legends-style model, where you pay money for different classes, but each class is theoretically balanced so no one player can win by paying more.

Not allowing those type of games limits the types of mods that players can develop, but it doesn't affect multiplayer Minecraft servers with other types of games. The reason that everyone is afraid this will kill large multiplayer Minecraft servers, especially those with with user-made minigames, is that some of the clarifications don't allow for even the simplest monetization models, such as charging for access to specific areas that hold different games.

The Minecraft servers in question charge money because they're actually quite large operations. Matt Sundberg owns the Shotbow network, which employs three full-time and five part-time employees, and developed mods like MineZ and Light Bikes. He says:

Large server networks are incredibly expensive to run and are very time consuming. Most large networks run hundreds of Minecraft servers, along with enterprise DDOS protection, databases, dedicated proxies, and web infrastructure. In addition to that, many employ full time staff to manage the hundreds of hours of labour required for server maintenance and plugin development.

As for enforcing these rules, Mojang CEO Carl Manneh told me "I hope we can solve it through dialogue. If that doesn't work, we'd probably need to involve lawyers. That would be sad."

We'll see if anything changes before the August 1 deadline, but for the moment, it looks like the Minecraft multiplayer community will be changing drastically.


Comments

    More missing tweets?

    Looking at the page source, it should be referencing the following:

    https://twitter.com/angrywolfie/status/478903560935993344
    https://twitter.com/crazybmanp/status/478995263508328451
    https://twitter.com/FractionOverby/status/478911410983161857
    https://twitter.com/sammendelson/status/478902505657466880
    https://twitter.com/MrSuperSweet/status/478888093072646144
    https://twitter.com/lazertester/status/478647838008557569

    Last edited 18/06/14 12:25 pm

    From my experience minecraft servers don't run a pay to win model so much as a pay for convenience model. If you don't pay you you're at no more a disadvantage than if you were just playing default singleplayer minecraft without creative mode on. Where as if you pay you get some diamonds or the ability to spawn a kit of tools once a day or whatever. This sort of thing has always been fine to me because it doesn't take anything away from a user for not paying (unlike say SWTOR's F2P model which gives non-subscribers an experience penalty).
    I think Notch just needs to manage the extent to which these server's can charge people, It IS ridiculous that some of these servers charge people anything close to $100 or more for anything.

    Looks like he embedded them and the original source got deleted.

      It's one of the foibles of the feed transfer from the articles that originate in the US.

      No, here are the tweets, you can find them if you inspect element.

      https://twitter.com/angrywolfie/status/478903560935993344

      Notch and Jeb what the heck is all of this?! You can't take multiplayer away! Everyone wants [email protected]_ #SaveMinecraft

      https://twitter.com/crazybmanp/status/478995263508328451

      @notch has apparently decided to stop caring about fans #SaveMinecraft

      https://twitter.com/FractionOverby/status/478911410983161857

      This EULA has ripped the Minecraft community apart #SaveMinecraft

      https://twitter.com/sammendelson/status/478902505657466880

      [email protected] Please don't kill multiplayer Minecraft servers! http://ctt.ec/E91fa+ #SaveMinecraft

      https://twitter.com/MrSuperSweet/status/478888093072646144

      @notch don't you see, this is what you wanted. This is what you fought for. A community that has a voice of it's own! #SaveMinecraft

      https://twitter.com/lazertester/status/478647838008557569

      @Akitori2 @sterling @HypixelNetwork @notch Money farm servers won't adhere to the rules, legitimate servers will. #SaveMinecraft

    I don't get the issue. If it's part of the EULA, the server operators have obviously agreed to it and gone against it. Now they're kicking up a fuss just because it's being enforced.

    Seems like the equivalent of getting a speeding fine and defending yourself with "But I've always sped and never been caught, why am I getting a fine now?"

      Lol, thats basically what I took away from this line.

      "He posted “An Open Letter To Notch” which explains in detail why server owners are so unhappy with the enforcement of the Minecraft EULA."

    The only people who have any reason to be upset are those who exploit children for vast sums of money with 'VIP' packages and items which in many cases are ripped out of minecraft.

    Yes, large Minecraft servers cost a lot to run. Minecraft is very resource-intensive. I've run or helped run several over the last few years. But no, this enforcement will not kill multiplayer Minecraft. Server operators can still charge flat access fees as long as they're equitable for everyone. The complaining is little more than people having a tantrum that they can't make a living off running a popular Minecraft server any more. No sympathy from me there.

      As someone who occasionally played on a mine craft server and has only given very small donations to servers. I wouldn't pay to enter a server, how do you know what it will be like? I would like to see a middle ground, small donations allowing things like a few diamonds, stack of iron, or 20 levels, small things like that, they can simply be earned but if you want to support the server you get a little bonus. That was how it was on the servers that I played on and I liked that arrangement and would not like to see it leave.

        That's precisely what isn't allowed any more. Mojang has no problem with server operators charging for access to the server, because that's where their costs are. Most players put the same load on the server as everyone else, whether they're using a wood pickaxe or a diamond one, and that's what Mojang wants to ensure is equitable, ie. server owners can charge to recover their actual expenses, which are per-player, but not over things that give different players different 'quality of life' within the game because they paid more than the other one did.

      Why do people think anyone cares about their sympathy? Anyone who says this has always struck me as grossly ignorant.

        People doing the complaining care about sympathy. Without the right people sympathising with their cause, their demands won't be met.

        I'm a little surprised at your response. As bazuden says, sympathy is the central mechanism behind spreading support for a cause, and in actually effecting change.

    Does anyone really still play Minecraft anymore?

      Kids

        Do you think they'd even read anything anyone says about it?

          Nope and if their parents are smart enough - they're not paying for multiplayer either

            So really, the only people who are whining about this killing Minecraft are the people who make tonnes of money off this stuff?

    Can anyone tell me that mine craft is really going to happen in real human life

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