• Let's talk server monetisation - the follow-up Q+A



    Thanks for all the questions you’ve sent over regarding last week’s EULA post. It’s a lively topic.

    A group of Mojangstas met this morning to discuss the most common questions we received over the weekend. The following post is the result of that discussion.

    Though we’re happy to clarify, most of these points were mentioned in last week’s explanation of the EULA. Please give it a read before diving into this more detailed Q+A.

    Are any servers exempt to the EULA?

    No. It affects all servers and players equally.

    Do server hosts have a grace period to implement changes to their servers?

    Yes. All servers must comply with the EULA by August 1st, 2014.

    Can I charge for access to my server?
    Yes. How players join a server is up to you. Single entrance fees or subscriptions are both allowed.

    How often am I allowed to charge players to access my server?
    You can charge players as regularly as you like. You can even charge for timed access if you think it’s the best way to monetise your server.

    What counts as a server? Are proxies one big server, or lots of smaller ones?
    A server is something a user connects to with their client. The user is on a different server when they leave one and manually join another (in the multiplayer screen). Virtual servers and proxies make no difference; to the client it’s the same server.

    Can I charge access to a specific part of my server, such as a minigame or world?
    No, you cannot charge for any part of a server. Only the access. Once on a server, all players must have the same gameplay privileges. You may make a different server which features “premium” areas, and charge for access to that server instead, but the benefits cannot carry between servers.

    So can I charge for my minigames or mods?
    Yes, so long as all players on your server have access to the features.

    Can I offer a limited trial period for all users?
    Yes. So long as both trial and paying users have access to the same gameplay features during the trial, we’re cool with it.

    Can I give paying users priority access to my server?
    Yes, but you cannot restrict gameplay elements to specific users.

    Does the EULA still apply for access to user-created mods?
    Yes. It doesn’t make a difference who made the mods, or how they were implemented onto your server. All mods require Minecraft to run. You are not allowed to charge for Minecraft features which affect gameplay.

    What do you mean by “hard currency” compared to “soft currency”?
    Hard currency is real money or anything that can be converted into real money, including Bitcoins. Soft currency is available in-game only, and has no real-world value. The restrictions in the EULA only apply to hard currency; you may unlock things in-game with soft currency.

    Can I sell “kits” for hard currency if I provide a balanced alternative for non-paying users?
    If the “kits” contain gameplay-affecting features they are not allowed. Gameplay balance is not relevant to the EULA. If the items included in the kit are purely cosmetic, you can charge real money/hard currency.

    My server features a currency that you can earn through gameplay, but which can also be bought for hard currency. Is that OK?
    Soft currencies that are earned in-game are fine, but you cannot sell in-game currency for hard currency. Hybrid/dual currency systems are not allowed.

    Can I sell boosters, which provide faster gold gain, XP, or other in-game resources for hard currency?
    No - boosters, item generators, and all other features that affect gameplay are not allowed.

    So how do I make real money from selling cosmetic items?
    You can sell cosmetic items for hard currency directly or allow players to fund an “account” specific to your server. It’s up to the host of the server to decide how this works. Remember that capes are the exception to this rule - you are not allowed to give them away or sell them.

    Can I sell ranks on my server?
    Yes. Ranks are allowed so long as any perks gained are cosmetic. Coloured names, prefixes, special hats etc. are fine.

    Can users purchase something that affects the entire server, such as a temporary XP boost?
    Yes, but everyone who can access the server must be able to use the feature, regardless of whether they purchased it or not.

    Can I award all players with a gameplay feature if I reach a donation goal within a time period?
    Yes, so long as all players receive the benefit regardless of who donated then it’s OK.

    Can I charge for access to server commands?
    Yes, as long as their effects are purely cosmetic. Commands that affect gameplay, such as a command to fly, cannot be sold for hard currency.

    If all players get access to a feature such as a plot of land, can I sell access to multiple plots for hard currency?
    No - that would be a gameplay affecting change, so it’s not allowed. All player who access your server must have the same gameplay features offered to them. The same rule applies to items, such as potions.

    How should servers deal with users who have already spent hard currency on features that affect gameplay?
    Users may keep the perks they’ve paid for on the condition that the same perks are available to other players on the server (directly or purchasable using soft currency). It’s up to the server host to decide how to compensate users for previous transactions.

    Phew. That was a long one. Thanks for reading everybody!

    Owen - @bopogamel and the Mojangstas

  • Let's talk server monetisation!

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    Let’s get one thing clear: we love it when Minecrafters host servers. Tiny or massive, running vanilla or modded Minecraft, we think they’re all great. Playing with friends in persistent worlds is awesome. Everyone knows that.

    Over the past week there’s been lots of discussion about Minecraft servers and your right to monetise them. Legally, you are not allowed to make money from our products. There has been one exception to this rule so far - Minecraft videos. We’re about to make a second exception - Minecraft servers.

    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. The following rules, which may be tweaked at a later date, have been created with these points in mind.

    You are allowed to charge players to access your server

    Basically, if you’re charging for access to your server, you are selling a “ticket” and there can only be one type of ticket, regardless of how much people are willing to spend.

    You are allowed to accept donations

    You are allowed to accept donations from players. You can thank them publicly or in-game, but can’t give preferential treatment for donating. You are not allowed to restrict gameplay features in an attempt to make money.

    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
    We don’t mind you selling items in game, but they must be purely cosmetic. Pets, hats, and particle effects are OK, but swords, invincibility potions, and man-eating pigs are not. We want all players to be presented with the same gameplay features, whether they decide to pay or not.

    There is one exception to this rule - capes! We have a lot of fun making cool capes for extra-special members of our community and Minecon attendees. We’d like to keep them as exclusive as possible. So, yeah, no capes please, even if you’re giving them away for free.

    You cannot charge real-world cash for in-game currency
    We don’t mind in-game currencies which are earned through playing, but you are not allowed to sell them for real-world cash. Remember - if the stuff you sell affects gameplay, we’re not cool with it.

    Don’t pretend to be us. Provide your customers with loads of info
    If you do decide to monetise your server, you must clearly state that the purchase is not associated with Mojang, declare who the money is going to, and provide a purchase history and contact details. You should also check the legality of selling digital items in your specific region.

    Thanks for reading!
    As I hope you’ve noticed, these rules are making attempts to prevent Minecraft servers becoming “pay-to-win.” We hate the idea of server hosts restricting Minecraft’s features to players who have already bought our game! It seems really mean.

    We’re hoping that these rules will give hosts opportunity to continue creating awesome Minecraft worlds, and for our players to enjoy them without being forced to spend.

    I’m sure we’ll get loads of questions about this subject over the next few days. I’ll prepare a follow-up post once I’ve gathered your queries.

    Have a good day!

    Owen - @bopogamel, and your buddies at Mojang.

  • What's up with Minecraft.net today?

    ResetthenetThe perceptive among you might have noticed the intimidating camera flash on Minecraft.net, followed by punchy message from Reset The Net. Here’s an explanation of what’s going on…

    I am extremely confused!

    Why should I care?

    It’s a bit like someone accessing your Minecraft server, rummaging through your chests, and reading all your chat logs, but potentially more damaging (hard to believe - I know).

    Should I click the massive “Click Here” button?
    Yes! We’ve put that on Minecraft.net today for a reason. Click it now, or read on for more information, then click it!

    Umm. I’m scared now.
    There’s no need to be scared. But there is a way to protect yourself. That’s what the Reset The Net campaign is about. It’s a place where you can learn how to fight against a potentially sinister side of the internet. Visit Reset The Net or watch the video below for more information.

    Thanks for reading everybody!

    Owen - @bopogamel

  • Minecraft Meetup at the Blockholm Exhibition


    Next Thursday, April 17 at 11:00 CET, most of the Minecraft team, parts of the Scrolls team, and a bunch of other Mojang peeps will head over to the Blockholm exhibition at the Museum of Architecture and Design here in Stockholm. We plan to stay until 12:30 or so.

    Ask us questions! Maybe take a couple of pictures?

    See you there!

  • Heartbleed, and why you should change your password

    Two days ago a serious vulnerability (that’s been named “Heartbleed”) in the popular cryptographic software OpenSSL was made public. This weakness could potentially be exploited to steal information, such as login information, that normally would be protected by encryption. This software is used by roughly two thirds of the internet so a lot of services were or are at risk of being affected.

    What did Mojang do?

    As soon as we realized the severity of the exploit we decided to shut down all of our systems until a fix was available. This is why you were unable to log in yesterday. We then made sure that all of our services that use SSL no longer had this vulnerability before bringing them back online. We also updated all of our SSL certificates.

    What should I do?

    Change your Mojang/Minecraft account password

    Since uses of the exploit leaves no traces, there’s no way for us to guarantee that your password hasn’t been compromised. Therefore, if you typed in your password into any of our games or websites during the last couple of days we strongly advice you to change it. Even if you haven’t logged in, it can still be a good idea the to change your password. One can never be too careful on the internet!

    Change the password of your Mojang account

    Change the password of your Minecraft account

    Also see our help article on choosing a good password.

    Change your other passwords

    Remember that since many other parts of the internet was affected as well you should also change your password for any other services that you have logged in to recently.

    Anything else that I need to know?

    Legacy launcher discontinuned

    Due to this incident we’ve been forced to discontinue support for the legacy Minecraft launcher (the one used before version 1.6). If you’re using a Minecraft version older than 1.6 you need to download the current launcher (version 1.3.11) from minecraft.net. The current launcher lets you play older versions of Minecraft as well so you can still play on your pre-1.6 servers.

    For developers

    Since the legacy launcher no longer works we are also retiring the old login.minecraft.net service. If you have created your own Minecraft authentication that uses this scheme you will need to migrate it to the new authentication scheme. The new authentication scheme is described in this community wiki for private use.

    // Kris and the Mojang Web Force

  • SXSW Minecraft Fun!

    SXSW Gaming Expo

    I’m heading out to Austin, Texas for the SXSW Gaming Expo. It is one of the only free events at SXSW and I will be doing a Minecraft talk on the Geek Stage in the convention area.

    Details: Saturday, March 8th from 2:30-3:15pm at the Palmer Events Center

    More information about the talk.

    More information about the Gaming Expo.

    Come dressed in Minecraft cosplay and you may just win an awesome prize!

    After the talk I’ll be hanging around to say hello to anyone who comes by.

    SXSW 2013

    See you this Saturday!

  • MINECON live stream!

    MINECON live stream

    For those of you who are missing MINECON, we have a live stream of some of the most amazing content from it. The opening and closing ceremonies, the biggest panels, footage from the con and interviews plus some world premiere videos from some of your favorite Minecraft talent.

    You can see the stream on our YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/teammojang
    or on our Twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/mojang

    This is a schedule of SOME of the content we’ll be showing, US Eastern timezone:

    Saturday, November 2nd
    10:00AM EDT - Opening Ceremony
    12:00PM EDT - Developing Mods
    01:00PM EDT - Running A Server
    02:00PM EDT - SparkleSlamaroo Extravaganza: Animators of Minecraft
    03:00PM EDT - The Future of Minecraft

    Sunday, November 3rd
    10:40AM EST - Redstone
    11:40AM EST - Growing a Server Community
    12:40PM EST - Life on YouTube with SkyDoesMinecraft, Captainsparklez, ihasCupquake, and AntVenom
    01:40PM EST - Mindcrack
    02:40PM EST - Interview with Notch
    03:40PM EST - Bringing Modding to the Masses
    05:00PM EST - Closing Ceremony

    Don’t forget to change your clock on Saturday night!

  • Mojang invents cloning technology

    Carl and Jonas WEB

    A few months back I had a casual conversation in the office kitchen talking about the insane amount of things going on at Mojang. I said something in the lines of “I wish I could clone myself”. I remember Tobias mumbling something like “I’ll look into that”.

    Yesterday Tobias came back to me and said he had something to show me. Introducing Mojang’s new Vice President: Jonas Mårtensson!

    Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to clone yourself… or hire your twin brother.

  • MINECON 2013 Call for Panelists


    It’s that time again. Time to fill up some epic panels for MINECON 2013.

    In past years we’ve had amazing panels about all different Minecraft topics by a variety of speakers. From children to adults, our panelists have included wonderful people from the community with all different backgrounds.

    We are looking to find another incredibly interesting and diverse set of panels and speakers.

    Think you have what it takes? Submit your idea here..

    Panel submissions will close on Monday, October 7th at 11pm PST.


    Lydia -@LydiaWinters

  • Announcing Minecraft Skin Scanner for iOS

    SkinScannerIconDo you like pens and pencils and Minecraft skins? You’re in a for a massive treat. 57digital have recently released Minecraft Skin Scanner. It’s an app for iOS that lets you to draw a Minecraft skins irl before importing them into the app and uploading the results to use in-game. Watch the trailer for a more visual explanation.

    Skin scanner costs $1.99/€1,79/£1.49, and is available from the app store now. Have fun!

    Owen - @bopogamel