Minecraft's Notch: Mojang Isn't Worse Than EA

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Minecraft's Notch: Mojang Isn't Worse Than EA

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Charging for in-game items is a tricky business.

Charging for in-game Minecraft items and perks is a very sensitive subject, one for which Mojang catches a lot of flak since every customer assumes Mojang must be involved, even if the charges are levied by a server Mojang has no control over. Not that long ago Notch Tweeted his displeasure - liberally seasoned with cold germs, by the sound of it - and the internet belched forth some pungent rebuttals. Mojang's literally worse than EA! THE SKY IS FALLING!

That's not what's going on, Mojang replies. The problem is that, while charging for use of a server has always been allowed, and monetizing videos has been permitted ever since YouTube Let's Plays became a thing, charging for in-game items, xp boosts, access to certain game modes and so on has always been forbidden in the EULA. Yet many servers do exactly that, which causes huge problems.

"I don't even know how many emails we've gotten from parents," grumbles Notch, "Asking for their hundred dollars back their kid spent on an item pack on a server we have no control over." So far Mojang's stayed out of it, as it has a lot of other issues on its plate, but the larger it gets the more complaints about in-game item charges come flooding in. Something had to give.

Mojang agrees that people running servers are what makes Minecraft so special, and servers aren't cheap. There's a whole new set of rules up over here detailing what can and cannot be done under the EULA. Now even in-game items are OK, provided they're cosmetic - pets, hats, particle effects - but whatever you do, make sure the customer knows Mojang isn't the vendor; your server is.

"There are new rules," says Notch. "These are new exceptions to the EULA. All of these make the rules more liberal than things were before." That gives server owners a few more cash generating options to choose from, and hopefully reduces the volume of complaints about in-game purchases sent to Mojang.

Oh, and hands off the capes. Capes are Mojang's thing.

Source: Markus 'Notch' Persson

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Funny thing about rules: Don't make 'em, if you can't enforce them. Or don't want to enforce them. Makes you look kind of weak.

Getting real sick of half arsed parents buying their kids tablets etc and then just leaving them to it, then get all upset when shit happens. I know you cant be watching your kids 24/7 but ffs teach them at least not to be so interweb stupid. I grew up just fine, common sense is often missin from children and their parents.

Yeah Epicraft is one of those offenders. How those servers get away with that behavior...

"Donations" in return for ranks are made, the first few ranks being $5-$50 but then going all the way up to $150 for the last rank. You get diamonds for voting daily in around a dozen polls to keep their server near the top..

It's implemented badly too as people who are banned are able to instantly buy their way back onto the server $20 for most bans and another $50 to upgrade back to a lost rank.

So we had at one stage a builder's guild and we had all of our builds trashed by two guys with what was likely their parents credit card... we had them banned about 20 times over a single weekend but they just kept buying out of the bans... Since they still had flying enabled and it wasn't a first tier ability at that stage, it would have likely cost them around $500 to wreck everything we had. (The protections mod they had running failed but there were only those 2 going round wrecking builds)...

I stupidly went back a year later and was invited by an admin to try out their new "creative" server... only to be told you need to buy creative mode. Then they were upset no one was building there...

So, rather than enforcing your own rules and punishing people who are breaking them, they just went ahead and said "ok, you know what, it's fine, just make it so it's not traced back to us". That's a really shitty business practice right there and since the comparison's already in place, I wouldn't even expect this from EA, if only because they're happy to enforce their own stupid rules.

I'm not saying the rules couldn't stand to be changed. But if there was a rule in the EULA that said "you can't charge for x" and people did, then it's Mojang's responsibility as the copyright owner to enforce those rules and heck, I'll even say it, refund those people who've bought stuff that shouldn't have been possible to be charged for (or rather, offer the refund, in case they're fine with it).

Don't get me wrong, parents are idiots not to educate their kids on these things and give them access to a credit card at the same time. That's their fault. But if someone gets charged for something the rules clearly state you can't be charged for, then the fault sadly still lies with the people who broke the rules and the responsibility to take action on that belongs to the company who made them.

Raioken18:
Yeah Epicraft is one of those offenders. How those servers get away with that behavior...

"Donations" in return for ranks are made, the first few ranks being $5-$50 but then going all the way up to $150 for the last rank. You get diamonds for voting daily in around a dozen polls to keep their server near the top..

It's implemented badly too as people who are banned are able to instantly buy their way back onto the server $20 for most bans and another $50 to upgrade back to a lost rank.

So we had at one stage a builder's guild and we had all of our builds trashed by two guys with what was likely their parents credit card... we had them banned about 20 times over a single weekend but they just kept buying out of the bans... Since they still had flying enabled and it wasn't a first tier ability at that stage, it would have likely cost them around $500 to wreck everything we had. (The protections mod they had running failed but there were only those 2 going round wrecking builds)...

I stupidly went back a year later and was invited by an admin to try out their new "creative" server... only to be told you need to buy creative mode. Then they were upset no one was building there...

Wait, so there are servers like this, that are charging you for all the stuff that you get in single player? I feel like I'm missing something here since I don't understand how any of this has appeal to anyone.

Vrach:
So, rather than enforcing your own rules and punishing people who are breaking them, they just went ahead and said "ok, you know what, it's fine, just make it so it's not traced back to us". That's a really shitty business practice right there and since the comparison's already in place, I wouldn't even expect this from EA, if only because they're happy to enforce their own stupid rules.

I'm not saying the rules couldn't stand to be changed. But if there was a rule in the EULA that said "you can't charge for x" and people did, then it's Mojang's responsibility as the copyright owner to enforce those rules and heck, I'll even say it, refund those people who've bought stuff that shouldn't have been possible to be charged for (or rather, offer the refund, in case they're fine with it).

Don't get me wrong, parents are idiots not to educate their kids on these things and give them access to a credit card at the same time. That's their fault. But if someone gets charged for something the rules clearly state you can't be charged for, then the fault sadly still lies with the people who broke the rules and the responsibility to take action on that belongs to the company who made them.

I think this is a case where it was a rule that's too difficult for them to enforce. Minecraft has an obscene number of players (and presumably servers), and you'd probably need a full-time team of people to keep track of the servers and make sure that none of them are breaking the rules.

And I can understand why Mojang wouldn't want that headache.

UltimatheChosen:
I think this is a case where it was a rule that's too difficult for them to enforce. Minecraft has an obscene number of players (and presumably servers), and you'd probably need a full-time team of people to keep track of the servers and make sure that none of them are breaking the rules.

And I can understand why Mojang wouldn't want that headache.

I can understand why you wouldn't want the headache of doing your job as well, it doesn't change anything about the situation.

If they had these rules in place since the beginning, it'd be fine. If they enforced the rules, then changed them, that'd be fine as well. But allowing people to break your rules (and in the process of that, damaging someone) and then distancing yourself from it by making it okay is just refusing to do your job and that's most certainly not okay.

Sounds like just angry children, honest.

The fact is, a lot of servers are selling minecraft assets as if they own them.

You don't own Diamonds. You didn't design or make them a part of the game. Mojang did, and now you're selling them. That doesn't seem fair at all.

I get that servers need money to exist, but, that's what "Donations" are. Not Cash shops for property you didn't make.

And stuff like this...

http://www.autcraft.com/shop

Is just disgusting.

You're taking a vulnerable audience and charging them obscene amounts of money.

Actively extorting money out of kids with mental difficulties. And Mojang has to draw a line.

Worgen:
Wait, so there are servers like this, that are charging you for all the stuff that you get in single player? I feel like I'm missing something here since I don't understand how any of this has appeal to anyone.

Going by the logic that not everyone likes the same stuff, and that there's always at least someone that likes a specific thing. If the internet has thought me something is that there are FAR more incredibly stupid people out there than I thought.

It's very rare for a game developer who is also the CEO of the company to be worst than companies like EA. Most developers can't make anything worth while if they don't have at least some love for games, and when you love something you care about it more than just how much you can sell it for.

EA isn't run by developers, it's probably run by people who don't even play or like games, what they like is money and games is just a means to an end. You can even see their love of money in their products, just look at the last dead space.

Whatever happens here, I'm sure it's not Mojang's fault.

Well, ain't that an argument for having only the servers the devs run.

It's really easy to defend Notch here.
You see, he cracked down on money-grubbing abuse.
EA owns all the servers in order to ensure that they have a monopoly on it.

Both sides are to blame here. Notch made rules he wasn't enforcing, and people are getting mad because they are not allowed to do something that was illegal to begin with. People are f**king stupid and self-entitled, I swear to god.

Ok, nowhere near as bad as EA. Not remotely close. On balance, I'd say it's a net bad thing. Notch made a rule and didn't enforce it, that's his fault and he should have been more diligent. Maybe his concession is just admitting that people will always try shit and he doesn't have the resources to police it or something, in which case fine. But the EA comparison, wherever that was made, completely uncalled for. That's like accusing someone of eating children.

Okay, I'd just like to point out that no one is obligated to enforce their EULA. In fact, most companies don't. EULAs exist, for the most part, as a form of CYA for the developer/publisher. A piece of documentation that they can point at and say "See? We told you not to do that." It also gives said publishers possible(if sometimes shaky) grounds from which to sue if they feel like it. They don't have to do it, and mostly we complain when they do.

Suing isn't really a good option here, and a moment of thought into the situation would make that obvious. First of all, suing costs money, and in most cases, even if Mojang were to win, the return would not make up for the lawyer fees. That's why most companies use scare tactics in the first place. Secondly, the claim that Mojang is comparable to EA for this is stupid. But if Mojang were to start suing left and right, such claims become much more plausible. Regardless of the reason for the lawsuits, there would be even more outrage at a laywer-happy Mojang.

Is what these servers are doing incredibly shady? Yes. Is it Mojang or Notch's fault? No, unless you think that a closed off official server only ecosystem like you see on consoles is the way things should go. Because that's the only way this could have feasibly been prevented. Ultimately, the blame here falls on the shoulders of two groups of people: the assholes charging money and the idiots that are spending it.

Lesson (never) learned: A fool and his money are soon parted.

Notch is LITERALLY Hitler, and Mojang is LITERALLY the 3rd Reich! This is LITERALLY worse then the holocaust! LITERALLY!

Im still kinda woried what this entailes, the minecraft Pokemon server i play on has it so you can buy coins so you don't have to grind the side quest, which i don't mind doing, but it is what pays for that 500 player server

AstaresPanda:
Getting real sick of half arsed parents buying their kids tablets etc and then just leaving them to it, then get all upset when shit happens. I know you cant be watching your kids 24/7 but ffs teach them at least not to be so interweb stupid. I grew up just fine, common sense is often missin from children and their parents.

Can't entirely blame the parents for this, I've seen it happen in real life (not with minecraft, with micro transactions on an EA mobile game). The kid in this case asked for a book from the google play store to read on a long journey, his mum bought it because it was a reasonable request.

Over the next month he used the credit card details she entered there to spend about 100. Not from a lack of knowledge or understanding of the consequences, but because he could exploit it and once it had happened once (something like 2 the first time) he figured he was in the shit anyway and just kept going until he got caught.

I can say first hand that the parenting in this case was anything but half arsed.

Exterminas:
Funny thing about rules: Don't make 'em, if you can't enforce them. Or don't want to enforce them. Makes you look kind of weak.

I think missing the point - sort of. I get what you're saying, but Mojang is merely saying "Don't come to us if some server is charging for in-game crap that they shouldn't be doing"

It's a question of legal liability. Mojang doesn't want to be sued for some scummy server selling things that nobody should be buying in the first place

Vrach:
So, rather than enforcing your own rules and punishing people who are breaking them, they just went ahead and said "ok, you know what, it's fine, just make it so it's not traced back to us". That's a really shitty business practice right there and since the comparison's already in place, I wouldn't even expect this from EA, if only because they're happy to enforce their own stupid rules.

I'm not saying the rules couldn't stand to be changed. But if there was a rule in the EULA that said "you can't charge for x" and people did, then it's Mojang's responsibility as the copyright owner to enforce those rules and heck, I'll even say it, refund those people who've bought stuff that shouldn't have been possible to be charged for (or rather, offer the refund, in case they're fine with it).

Don't get me wrong, parents are idiots not to educate their kids on these things and give them access to a credit card at the same time. That's their fault. But if someone gets charged for something the rules clearly state you can't be charged for, then the fault sadly still lies with the people who broke the rules and the responsibility to take action on that belongs to the company who made them.

They changed the rules to what they were supposed to be, ie.: "It's your server, do whatever the f'ck you like as long as it doesn't break any laws." Why on earth would slap a company for allowing customers to do with their product as they please? What the hell, really???

And they're sure as hell not obliged to enforce their own EULA.

...man this got me riled up...

So many server owners are in it for the wrong reason. They think they can profit from a server by requiring "donations" for extra commands, diamonds, access to certain blocks, etc. I'm surprised this is an issue, because for the most part, those servers fail after a short time. All that stuff you built. All that money you donated... Straight into the void.

There are plenty of servers out there that aren't like this. You just have to dig through the trash a little.

RealRT:
Well, ain't that an argument for having only the servers the devs run.

Not really. It's more an argument for better-informed consumers who don't fall for this stupid shit. Unfortunately, Minecraft is basically a babysitting tool for many disinterested parents, so kids are probably the most common victim of these greedy servers. I don't really feel sorry for anyone that falls for this though. If you're stupid enough to pay money for things that should be free, then you probably shouldn't have that money in the first place.

Vrach:
So, rather than enforcing your own rules and punishing people who are breaking them, they just went ahead and said "ok, you know what, it's fine, just make it so it's not traced back to us". That's a really shitty business practice right there and since the comparison's already in place, I wouldn't even expect this from EA, if only because they're happy to enforce their own stupid rules.

I'm not saying the rules couldn't stand to be changed. But if there was a rule in the EULA that said "you can't charge for x" and people did, then it's Mojang's responsibility as the copyright owner to enforce those rules and heck, I'll even say it, refund those people who've bought stuff that shouldn't have been possible to be charged for (or rather, offer the refund, in case they're fine with it).

Don't get me wrong, parents are idiots not to educate their kids on these things and give them access to a credit card at the same time. That's their fault. But if someone gets charged for something the rules clearly state you can't be charged for, then the fault sadly still lies with the people who broke the rules and the responsibility to take action on that belongs to the company who made them.

Enforcing rules is expensive and probably not very practical. after all. there's international jurisdiction and all that. If the server is somewhere they can't touch. nothing can be done. Mojang makes the games, they make the server kits and it's alll moddable.. that said, people will mod it in ways they don't like.

Let's put it this way. Mojang makes the software, they have limited control over how it is used. Mojang doesn't own all the servers, they can control their servers but thsoe of others.. not so much. So if a server is charging for stuff.. play on a server that doesn't. Bam. problem solved.

And as for parents saying their kid spent how much on stuff... uhm... parents... why do you give your kids that level of access to your finances?

Mromson:
They changed the rules to what they were supposed to be, ie.: "It's your server, do whatever the f'ck you like as long as it doesn't break any laws." Why on earth would slap a company for allowing customers to do with their product as they please? What the hell, really???

I've nothing against the new rules, just saying, don't put rules there you're not going to enforce. I'm not saying Mojang should get slapped for this, I'm saying they should've slapped the people breaking their rules instead of literally turning around and saying "hey, you guys who broke our rules for a while, don't worry about it, we're changing them now".

This is a moneymaking thing here, not a "hey, I modded pretty textures into my game". There's a difference and if you're going to make rules about it, you should be ready to enforce them. Or just not make them in the first place or advise against them rather than make them out to be a breach of contract.

These guys seem to do it right most of the time: http://www.escapecraft.net/store/

But no system is perfect, Hopefully this will kill off some of the cancerous megaservers who do stuff like buy votes on the minecraft lists and such. Maybe smaller servers that have never even broken even through donations will actually have a chance now?

webkilla:

Exterminas:
Funny thing about rules: Don't make 'em, if you can't enforce them. Or don't want to enforce them. Makes you look kind of weak.

I think missing the point - sort of. I get what you're saying, but Mojang is merely saying "Don't come to us if some server is charging for in-game crap that they shouldn't be doing"

It's a question of legal liability. Mojang doesn't want to be sued for some scummy server selling things that nobody should be buying in the first place

My point is that they should not have put a silly rule like that - one that they can't possibly enforce - into their EULA.

People will always try to wring money out of other people's popular content. Probably every big game developer faces stuff like angry parents wanting money.

By atting that clause to their EULA, Mohjang just gained themselves the added bonus of having to do a public backpaddling in addition to the annoying parents.

Avaholic03:

RealRT:
Well, ain't that an argument for having only the servers the devs run.

Not really. It's more an argument for better-informed consumers who don't fall for this stupid shit. Unfortunately, Minecraft is basically a babysitting tool for many disinterested parents, so kids are probably the most common victim of these greedy servers. I don't really feel sorry for anyone that falls for this though. If you're stupid enough to pay money for things that should be free, then you probably shouldn't have that money in the first place.

On the one hand, you're right. On the other hand, making these idiots stop being idiots is impossible.

All this cause someone actually read the EULA for once and posted about it. Add a bit of misinformation, some fear mongering and voila mass hysteria. People were acting like the world was about to end, figuratively speaking. And yet, as it turns out, it was always in the EULA to begin with. People freaked out all those months ago about the EULA in regards to mods with the same amount of hysteria and it being the death of Minecraft. Did any of that happen? Nope, nothing. People are pretty much freaking out over absolutely nothing.

And why is it such a big deal here anyway? I hear nobody freaking out with EULA's from every other game company, which are often far more restrictive then Mojang's. But then again, nobody reads those things anyway.

Vrach:

UltimatheChosen:
I think this is a case where it was a rule that's too difficult for them to enforce. Minecraft has an obscene number of players (and presumably servers), and you'd probably need a full-time team of people to keep track of the servers and make sure that none of them are breaking the rules.

And I can understand why Mojang wouldn't want that headache.

I can understand why you wouldn't want the headache of doing your job as well, it doesn't change anything about the situation.

If they had these rules in place since the beginning, it'd be fine. If they enforced the rules, then changed them, that'd be fine as well. But allowing people to break your rules (and in the process of that, damaging someone) and then distancing yourself from it by making it okay is just refusing to do your job and that's most certainly not okay.

Except that this is a case of having the rules, then realizing that you aren't able to enforce them, and changing the rules so that they're more consistent with your actual capabilities.

Which, again, is not unreasonable.

So as has been said, this is very much a case of Mojang going "Um... Shit. Better backpedal from those rules we can't enforce".

That said, this seems to be more of an issue with stupid parents/children and how tablets and whatnot seem to have zero parental controls to prevent children from falling to these leeches.

Mromson:

Vrach:
So, rather than enforcing your own rules and punishing people who are breaking them, they just went ahead and said "ok, you know what, it's fine, just make it so it's not traced back to us". That's a really shitty business practice right there and since the comparison's already in place, I wouldn't even expect this from EA, if only because they're happy to enforce their own stupid rules.

I'm not saying the rules couldn't stand to be changed. But if there was a rule in the EULA that said "you can't charge for x" and people did, then it's Mojang's responsibility as the copyright owner to enforce those rules and heck, I'll even say it, refund those people who've bought stuff that shouldn't have been possible to be charged for (or rather, offer the refund, in case they're fine with it).

Don't get me wrong, parents are idiots not to educate their kids on these things and give them access to a credit card at the same time. That's their fault. But if someone gets charged for something the rules clearly state you can't be charged for, then the fault sadly still lies with the people who broke the rules and the responsibility to take action on that belongs to the company who made them.

They changed the rules to what they were supposed to be, ie.: "It's your server, do whatever the f'ck you like as long as it doesn't break any laws." Why on earth would slap a company for allowing customers to do with their product as they please? What the hell, really???

And they're sure as hell not obliged to enforce their own EULA.

...man this got me riled up...

If they aren't going to enforce their own rules in the EULA than what was the point of them even adding that rule to the EULA? Sure, they don't have to enforce it but it makes them seem really lazy if they don't and then change it just to try and save face.

Honestly this isn't really that bad, though I can see where people are coming from. I was playing on an FTB server where the server owner was a complete dick. Got mad when his playerbase up and left, shut down. But the real kicker? Some kid just payed 100$ for creative. That alone sucked, but he pocketed the money too and transfered it to his bank(He isn't very bright and the co owner got his email..)

SadisticFire:
Honestly this isn't really that bad, though I can see where people are coming from. I was playing on an FTB server where the server owner was a complete dick. Got mad when his playerbase up and left, shut down. But the real kicker? Some kid just payed 100$ for creative. That alone sucked, but he pocketed the money too and transfered it to his bank(He isn't very bright and the co owner got his email..)

I hate people like that. He has the audacity to get angry when his actions were the reason everyone left in the first place. I feel bad for that kid. Hopefully some karma bites that guy pretty soon.

I get the distinct impression that Notch is a bit of an idealist gamer and game developer who feels that is wrong for a server operator to implement a system which permits a direct correlation between the real world money a player spends and how much in-game advantage that gives them over other players on the same server. Perhaps that's some explanation for those portions of Minecraft's original EULA, and by adding them he probably hoped it might slow down the rate at which his game became associated with the pay-to-win market. I don't doubt a lawyer's advice was influential too, but it was probably crafted around Notch's wishes.

Exterminas:
Funny thing about rules: Don't make 'em, if you can't enforce them. Or don't want to enforce them. Makes you look kind of weak.

Funny thing about EULA - its not legally binding. you can break any part of eula you want and so can Mojang. so Mojang didnt actually make any rules other than "please dont do it or we will look angrily at you". the rules are literally unenforcable. thats like making rules that everyone should stop breathing for 1 hour to conserve oxygen and then get mad at it not being enforced. yeah, not going to happen here.

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