Minecraft and EULA?

This week, host servers of popular Minecraft games have been in turmoil over a proposed amendment to Minecraft’s EULA. It states that no one can make money with Minecraft without Mojang’s permission. Many voices in the community were worried that they wouldn’t be able maintain their services. Mojang quickly responded with lengthy and colorful explanations.

Developers have provided the missing information: A clear breakdown of what is and what is not acceptable ways to make money in Minecraft. Although stricter measures will be implemented, they are not as broad and unnecessarily as initially feared.

Owen Hill, chief word officer at Mojang, stated that the rules were designed to stop Minecraft servers becoming “pay–to-win”.

We hate the idea that server hosts limit Minecraft’s features to those who have purchased our game. He said it seemed really mean, and not unreasonably.

“We hope that these rules will allow hosts to continue creating amazing Minecraft worlds and for our players not to be forced to spend.”

Legally, Minecraft videos are the only legal way for players to make money with Mojang’s games to date. However, the developers have never taken the initiative to close down servers that they don’t like using payment systems.

They’re now making legal exceptions for servers that adhere to their rules. Mojang recognizes that servers can be expensive to maintain, so hosts must be able pay their expenses. However, they want to make sure players don’t feel “exploited” or frustrated.

Hosts are permitted to charge players entry fees to their servers, provided that everyone is paying the same price. They are allowed to accept donations as long as there is no “preferential treatment”.

Sponsorship and in-game advertising are acceptable, as well as selling cosmetic products that don’t include capes. Mojang wants capes to be reserved for Minecon attendees and other notable members of the community.

It is not okay to ask players to pay for “swords”, invincibility potions and man-eating porks to maintain competitiveness, or to charge real-world currency for in-game currency.

Oh, and “don’t pretend to us”.

Hill stated, “Provide lots of information to your customers.” Hill stated that if you decide to monetise servers, it is important to clearly state that they are not associated with Mojang and to declare who the money will go to.

Did you get all of that? It doesn’t seem particularly untoward to dissuade Minecraft hosts from such bad behavior.