It looks like the rumours are indeed true, Microsoft is buying out Mojang and Minecraft for a cool 2.5 billion dollars. Now that’s walking around money!
Whether this is a good or bad thing only time will tell of course. But that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate! We look at the repercussions for Let’s Players, gameplay videos, all the good stuff you might think of when you think Minecraft.
Minecraft YouTubers, you’re a great part of Minecraft’s success and we have no plans to change what you’re doing once we close the deal.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) September 19, 2014
We’re good guys! 🙂
Microsoft are buying Mojang for the Minecraft IP. Unfortunately this means that the future of other Mojang projects (e.g. Scrolls) is left in an uncertain state at this time. My best guess is that the IP will probably be retired, it’s pretty obvious it’s only Minecraft that Microsoft are after. We’ll see!
You can read the full details over at Mojang’s website (link below) – we’re not looking to copy and paste the lot here. Lets focus on the video creator side of the table.
First thing’s first, they may just keep the content policy that already exists. The most important part for Lets Players is of course
Within reason you‘re free to do whatever you want with screenshots and videos of the Game. By “within reason” we mean that you can‘t make any commercial use of them or do things that are unfair or adversely affect our rights. If you upload videos of the game to video sharing and streaming sites you are however allowed to put ads on them.
If however it does now come under Microsoft’s game usage policy this will then change to require that the creator must now include the statement (bolded where changes made)
Minecraft © Microsoft Corporation. [Your video title] was created under Microsoft’s “Game Content Usage Rules” using assets from Minecraft. It is not endorsed by Microsoft and does not reflect the views or opinions of Microsoft or anyone officially involved in producing or managing Minecraft. As such, it does not contribute to the official narrative of the fictional universe, if applicable.
You will also fall under the following rules
- You cannot reverse engineer the software to obtain assets from the game.
I don’t believe this would affect many people, but it might cause an issue with the modding community. Are they still allowed to tie things in to the game, or are they now only allowed to add things on?
- You can’t use Game Content to create pornographic or obscene Items, or anything that contains vulgar, racist, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content. Whether the content is “objectionable” is up to us. And like the old saying goes, you know it when you see it.
Call me cynical, but “is up to us” could mean anything. If they don’t like your video for whatever reason, it’s gone. Maybe you badmouth Microsoft, use a witty dollar sign to represent them (M$) or possibly you refer to the Xbox One as an Xbone? Chances are hugely high that nobody will really care though of course.. But they might
Here’s the big one though
- You may post your Item to a page or website that has advertising, but only if you do not earn any money from that advertising. For example, if you post your video on Youtube or Vimeo and there happens to be an advertisement next to it, then as long as you don’t get paid for that advertisement, the fact that there is an advertisement on the page doesn’t break these Rules. But enrolling in the Youtube partner program (or other similar programs), where you are entering into an agreement to get paid, is not allowed. On a similar note, if you create and distribute a free app, then you can’t earn any money from advertising in that app.
Lets break that down, and of course we’re assuming that Microsoft switch Minecraft over to its own game rule policy. You can no longer earn money from Minecraft in the form of Let’s Play videos. This is the one to watch out for. If the standard MS policy comes into play you can no longer monetize your Minecraft videos. They specifically say that it’s OK for someone else (i.e. YouTube) to earn money from your video, just as long as you don’t see any of it. Whether this will affect the big Minecraft names or not only time will tell when we see if this policy is put into action.
A way around this is the rule
- You may use the Item on a page where you ask for optional donation requests.
but this is hugely unlikely to help the little guys.
- In addition, your Items may not use the name of the Microsoft Game in their title. For example, we don’t object to “Red vs. Blue”. We don’t object to “Operation Chastity”. But we do object to “Halo [insert the title of your Item here]”. We want to make sure consumers don’t get confused.
Goodbye to videos with Minecraft in the title!
If you do any of these things, we may tell you or others that your Item violates these Rules, that you have to stop distributing your Item right away, or that you need a commercial license. So there
The big names might be able to afford this. You can’t.
Again. All of this is only an issue if Microsoft switches from the old Minecraft content policy to their own. Just sayin’
- Minecraft bought by Microsoft: https://mojang.com/2014/09/yes-were-being-bought-by-microsoft/
- Minecraft Game Usage Policy: https://account.mojang.com/documents/minecraft_eula
- Microsoft Game Usage Policy: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/developer/rules