Notch defends Minecraft dev Mojang from "worse than EA" claims

After EULA change clarifies position on paid-for mods.

Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson has hit back at fans who branded developer Mojang "literally worse than EA" after the studio's recent update to its Minecraft end-user agreement.

Writing in a statement posted to his personal blog, Notch attempted to explain the recent changes to Minecraft's EULA, which some users have reacted badly to.


The confusion began when Mojang employee Erik Broes wrote on Reddit that "you cannot make money with Minecraft without our permission. If you are on a server, your experience should the same as every other player".

Users took the statement to mean that all Minecraft servers that charged for access were outlawed - technically true, albeit not something Mojang has ever enforced.

Broes' intended point, however, had been to point out that features affecting gameplay should not be charged for, and that Mojang does not allow this either.

"You can charge for hosting servers, but not for gameplay features," Notch clarified via Twitter at the time.

But confusion continued, not least because of the contradictions in Minecraft's EULA and Mojang's more relaxed real-world enforcement of the rules. So Mojang updated its EULA to formalise the stance it was already taking.

"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," Notch summarised.

"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."

A FAQ detailing the changes was posted to Mojang's official site at the end of last week. It explains how users can monetise the game in a number of new ways (previously users could only officially earn money from Minecraft by hosting videos and collecting advertising from that).

The new policy formally allows players to charge for server access, accept donations, include in-game advertising or sponsorship and sell in-game items that don't affect gameplay.

Cosmetic items like costumes, hats and pets are fine, Mojang wrote. "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."

Paid-for in-game currency is also outlawed.

"These are new exceptions to the EULA," Notch concluded. "All of these make the rules more liberal than things were before. People are still asking me to change back to the old EULA. That makes me sad."

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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