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Minecraft mod support planned

Minecraft developer Notch laid out the plans for mod support in the game in a post on his blog. They include a licensing agreement and possibly a mod marketplace.

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Minecraft developer Notch laid out the plans for mod support in the game in a post on his blog. With the disclaimer that it still has to pass inspection from the lawyers, here's the gist of it. Anyone can sign up, for free, to be a "mod developer" by agreeing to a licensing deal. That deal stipulates that mods can only be played by people who have purchased the base game. Teams that want to sell their work for profit will also need to enter into a separate licensing deal for that. Mods can not be malicious. And lastly, the Minecraft team retains the right to use any mod idea and implement it themselves.

That last bit caused some concern amongst would-be mod makers. As reassurance, Notch updated his post saying, "if you make a good mod or something else based on the source code, it's highly likely we will want to license it." He also stated in the original post that it is their desire to sell good mods and that there could be some sort of mod marketplace for the game. Alternatively, Notch said they could also simply purchase nice mods and make them part of the base game.

When originally announced, the mod api was going to be sold. Citing "overwhelming feedback," Notch later posted that it would in fact be free. He said it was never the intention to profit from it, only to ensure a base level of quality by making teams be serious enough about their project to put up some money to make it.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    April 26, 2011 6:30 PM

    Garnett Lee posted a new article, Minecraft mod support planned.

    Minecraft developer Notch laid out the plans for mod support in the game in a post on his blog. They include a licensing agreement and possibly a mod marketplace.

    • reply
      April 26, 2011 9:02 PM

      There was as shitstorm on Facebook etc over the fee for becoming a licensed MOD with people screaming that notch was just trying to make even more money. The guy is filthy rich already, I don't think that was his motivation. He just wanted some kind of barrier for entry into the system since any MOD will receive a good portion of the source code (if not the whole thing). As long as the fee wasn't crazy expensive (which he said it wouldn't be) I don't see why this is such a bad idea. I'm kind of disappointed that he caved in to the whiners on this one. It would at least cut down a little bit on the amount of crap mods out there or the straight up malicious ones which are bound to happen.

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        April 26, 2011 9:39 PM

        Well the problem is, what about hobbyists. I would love to play around with some mod making once this happens, I don't plan on releasing anything but I am actively looking forward to creating custom content. I have never payed for content creation tools in my life, I don't plan to start now.

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          April 26, 2011 9:43 PM

          I'm sure most hobbyists in anything (except computer science apparently) will tell you that their hobby costs money.

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            April 26, 2011 10:02 PM

            True, but there is a what, 15 year precedent of mod tools being free? I see what Notch was going for, but it does seem kind of strange.

            Personally, I'm not particularly fond of the idea of a mod marketplace, but whatever works I suppose.

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          April 27, 2011 6:14 AM

          I think the difference here is that engines like Unreal or ID tech engines... do/did not require you to have access to the actual source code to be able to make mods. At least not all of it. Minecraft wasn't made to be community friendly from the beginning so in order to make MODs you pretty much need the source code. So I think it's fair to charge some money to get your hands on the source code for a game which is the meat and potatoes of the whole company. This isn't like the Unreal engine where the thing was designed from the beginning to be licensed out so it has super robust editing tools etc.

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            April 27, 2011 8:33 AM

            The problem is with a little deobfuscating we basically have the code sans comments right now due to the way that Java works. The only thing that will change when he officially releases the code is simply one less step towards mod making.

            Charging for something that we have been doing for free isn't so hot.

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        April 27, 2011 10:02 AM

        I read it as kind of like the $5 registration fee at SA. Just a tiny fee to make sure you treat it seriously.