owsf2000: (default)
Here is Microsoft's announcement of the Mojang purchase.

Here are some tidbids that make me worry about it.

"Microsoft’s investments in cloud and mobile technologies will enable “Minecraft” players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the “Minecraft” community."

These seem to be primarily Xbox One issues, when it comes to the cloud where they've made just that promise for games. This would probably mean save data will end up in their cloud rather than on actual servers and PCs.

The development tools makes me think they're going away from java.

"Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft."

I read this as "DLC".

“As the founders move on to start new projects, we believe the high level of creativity from the community will continue the game’s success far into the future.”

I highly doubt community creativity will be nearly as high once the new rules are put into place for how mods/plugins may or may not be done. I can surely bet they'll forbid any GPL projects as a clause in the EULA basically states that mod makers permit mojang to take the ideas and build them directly into minecraft. "If you don't like that, don't make mods/plugins." is essentially how the eula works. (And I'm pretty sure it's always said that.)

Regardless, I don't know what kind of creativity you're going to get out of the leaving founders. Notch himself has explicitly said he's going back to tinker silly little experiments and if he sees any experiment start to grow the way Minecraft did --- he'll immediately abandon the project. (Way to go!)

So yeah, I can easily see my predictions turning out true, in one form or another within the next few years.
owsf2000: (default)
As I predicted based on the complete radio silence from Mojang since the rumours began last week, Notch sold his company.

I'm guessing the three people leaving are the three people that are making hella bank on the deal.

I'm just going to do a play-by-play of Mojang's post as well as add in my predictions for the future.

"Change is scary, and this is a big change for all of us. It’s going to be good though. Everything is going to be OK. <3"

I have no idea how they can just say "Everything's going to be OK!" when they've lost complete control over what their company is going to be doing from now on. Microsoft is now the one calling the shots. What they say will go, regardless of any complaints. Kinda hoping the guy making the post is one of the ones that get canned with the first round of layoffs in the future just so he can see how wrong he was. :P tl;dr: This is nothing but PR speech for the public. You can ignore it.

"Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang. He’ll continue to do cool stuff though. Don’t worry about that."

Or, OR! The other option was for him to retire while still owning Mojang and leaving all the company decisions for Minecraft up to others. Hell, he was already like that anyway. If he did this to get away from the "hate" he'd get over doing unpopular things regarding Minecraft, he hasn't seen anything yet. I'm sure there will still be a small fringe that will be interested in watching his projects. After all, even 0.1% of Minecraft players is still 100,000 or so people.

I'm not sure what cool stuff he's been working on however. Recreating the original Doom from schematic documents doesn't really count as cool to me. More like "waste of time". But he's rich enough to waste all the time in the world so it's fine.

"Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future."

True! However. Mojang is no longer some "other company". They are now a division of Microsoft and not only can they predict Mojang's choices, they can damned well dictate them. Why they added this statement is beyond me unless they typoed the company name and intended to say "Mojang can't make decisions for other companies..." which would be entirely correct and relevant to what's being discussed. It would mean regardless of what Mojang is saying now, they have no control over what actually does happen going forward.

"Will we still be able to make videos, mods, awesome builds, and all the cool stuff we’ve created over the past few years?"

The entire answer to this question looks to be PR smoke to me. They outright say they don't know specific plans for Minecraft (Anymore anyway.) but it's hardly good PR to say anything less than their "we want the community to continue to grow" etc.

However Bukkit is already dead. And with that goes thousands of plugins unless they get ported to another api. (Hint: Most won't!) And even if they do, MS can easily start cracking down on unofficial apis to their minecraft server from this point on. And due to my predictions below, I fully expect them to.

"we predict that the vast majority (if not all) Mojangstas will continue to work at Mojang for the time being."

This counters one of the inside-remarks made by an AC that seemed to be "in the know" about the deal on slashdot last week. Yes, that guy could have been faking it all but it didn't seem that way. According to him/her it was expected that most of the staff would eventually be cut.

"For the time being." pretty much makes the entire statement/prediction worthless. It basically means "We haven't received our pink slips from Microsoft yet, so we'll assume we can keep all these peoplep for now."

And that's certainly possible. Microsoft has to finish their embrace stage before they extend it with Minecraft 2, then extinguish the original + community.

So in the end, the rumours were correct.

My predictions:

1. An official api will be written for the server finally. It will be mostly incompatible with bukkit and others already available. You will need to be an official developer to get access to the api to make plugins, and they will probably be sold as the new DLC option.

2. A crackdown on all non-official apis/mods will begin. Why let users have something for free when you could charge them for it amirite?

3. Resource and skin packs will become DLC on the PC. At first as an option. Later they will probably encrypt the files to make it impossible to legally create your own with image editors, etc.

4. Realms servers will be the only ones that will have mods for the new api. (Best way for them to keep control over it after all, plus the cash for the servers themselves!)

5. When a Minecraft 2 shows up, it will not be Java. There might be a Mac version made available, but I doubt it'll run on anything but Windows 8 or higher, and I doubt they'll try too hard to get a Linux version out.

6. I expect Minecraft 2 to sell for anywhere from 49.99 to 59.99 for the base game. It will likely be incompatible with Minecraft maps. A map converter might be sold separately however as DLC, which of course will have a free DLC coupon for with new purchases of the game.

7. When Microsoft wants the original Minecraft to end, they will simply shut down the validation servers that let players log in. This will prevent anyone from logging in to a server running in online mode. Pirated servers will be shut down, and any running in offline mode will become a hackers playground and thus die off that way.

8. While out of order, I -do- expect most of Mojang's staff to be cut, and eventually they'll just be a trademark. It happens way too often in the video game industry to not see this coming.

But no problem, Minecraft 2 will probably go on sale for a few weeks when the logins are shut down. ;)

Yes, these are only predictions. They may not happen, but I'm fully expecting them to one way or another. (For example, keeping "bukkit" in name, but rewriting the infringing open-source portions with incompatible replacements would still satisfy my above prediction about an official api.)

Well, for the time being I'll continue playing on the few private non-realms servers I play on and fiddle around with working on Koby's server to get it working for other people to play on. But I can see myself becoming more productive in my own game projects again within a year or two.
owsf2000: (default)
Ok I guess I'll do my take on the whole Minecraft EULA fiasco and on the video [livejournal.com profile] kane_magus found in the comments of the article in particular:

Having played on public servers for the last few years, my opinion on "pay for perk" donation systems is pretty dark. I haven't seen servers that try to extort 1000-10000 dollars for perks personally, but I have seen servers with ranks that cost over 300 dollars. At least one server would charge between 5-50 dollars or so for a rank - and it would be temporary, for like a month or so.

In some cases I don't particularly mind some rank type crap, but many servers do dickish things to make these ranks seem all the more attractive. In particular, gimping standard minecraft features unless you pay up. I don't mean withholding perks from plugins. But actually witholding stuff from vanilla minecraft. A common target is limited access (or none at all!) to enderchests. Some will prevent the player from even crafting one unless you pay up.

If you're on the pvp servers, it gets even worse since those servers regularly RESET the map and players. Sometimes once per major update, but I've seen some that will reset it almost monthly. The people who have paid for ranks... often times get the bonuses with their kits restored! Everyone else gets to eat shit and start right from the beginning. And whatever reason they want to give for it, a big reason would be to make the payments more attractive.

But I'm getting off topic. My beef with the video in particular is that he's trying to show both sides of the coin, but he's glossing over the reality of the situation.

Mojang had never approved, and in fact flat out refused in the EULA, to let people make money off of their game in this form. That people gleefully ignored the EULA that they refused to read in the first place and began exploiting mojang's customers does NOT make it legal for them to do so. If they're taken to court, it would be an open and shut case. And they would lose.

His defence for the people who are doing this stuff is that "it's too late for mojang to be doing this now. There's people running servers that quit their jobs, school, etc, so they could start a business running servers like this."

But... if you're going to make a business doing something you aren't allowed to do, shouldn't you expect the natural outcome when you finally get told not to do it? So really.. I have very little sympathy for these individuals. Particularly if they were doing a crappy job anyway. The whole donating thing started as a way to support a server anyway, not to provide full time employment. :P

So in the end, I can only say Mojang is right. People abusing the system are wrong. They should have expected the consequences as the people doing this got greedier and greedier.

The only thing I will conceed in the matter, is that I agree Mojang should have nipped it in the butt a long time ago when it first began appearing publically. It would have stopped the entire thing from spiralling out of control like it has. But just because they didn't, it doesn't justify people doing it.

They should all be glad it's Mojang they're screwing with. If they tried this kind of thing with EA or Activision or just about any other game dev/publisher, they'd have simply been dragged into court if they didn't immediately shut down their infringing server after a harsh lawyerly letter.

Lawyerly is now a word. Get use to it.

But then this is a given, given that damned near every other game dev won't even allow individuals to host their own server to begin with. This is actually one of the big reasons why.

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