Donald Trump can buy himself many things, but he will never be able to officially build a 10,000-block-high statue of himself in Minecraft. And no, don't expect to mine Moria as part of a Lord of the Rings server. Microsoft and its Mojang subsidiary said Tuesday that they will begin blocking corporations and politicians from using Minecraft to promote their own agendas, including the sale of products, movies, or political views. "We want to empower our community to make money from their creativity, but we're not happy when the selling of an unrelated product becomes the purpose of a Minecraft mod or server," Mojang wrote in a blog post. The new additions are now part of Mojang's Commercial Usage Guidelines.
At some point in May, Minecraft will experience a kind of coda to Microsoft and Mojang's grand synchronization of the original Java version and its newer, future-proofed Windows 10 and smartphone/tablet ones. It's called the Discovery Update, and it will add the last few absent components -- llamas, shulkers, spooky woodland mansions, ill-natured villagers and spectral vexes -- to a game that has perhaps received more post-purchase content, gratis, than any other. And then it will go a step further, adding features the Java version will never see. Like a new, curated, in-app marketplace for handpicked creators to offer things like skin packs, retextured overlays and entire worlds. Those creators, dubbed "Pioneer Partners" and limited to just nine at the outset, will be allowed to sell their wares alongside Microsoft and Mojang's own.
The hit sandbox game Minecraft is officially headed to China. Microsoft announced Monday it has reached a five-year deal with Chinese tech company NetEase to host the popular game for PCs and mobile devices. The deal calls for studio Mojang to develop a version of the game for the Chinese audience. "We are excited to bring Minecraft to Chinese audiences, and expect our large online community to embrace this preeminent game," said NetEase CEO and founder William Ding in a statement. The sandbox-style video game launched in 2011, and allows players to gather resources and create elaborate structures.
When Microsoft bought Mojang, the makers of the insanely popular Minecraft, in a surprise 2.5 billion deal in September 2014, nobody knew what to think. The game seemed an odd fit for Microsoft, whose biggest moneymakers are its productivity software and Windows PC operating system. Minecraft's millions of players fretted that the game was destined to be ruined under its new corporate parent, or that Microsoft would restrict the game to its own Xbox and Windows platforms. Two years later, Minecraft is more popular and widely available than ever. Since the beginning of this year, Mojang says, people have bought 53,000 copies of Minecraft every single day.
The new game from Mojang answers the eternal question, what if Minecraft and Gauntlet had a baby? Minecraft: Dungeons is a brand-new game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers like Wizardry and Ultima Underworld, and it turns the series' traditional formula on its head. Instead of providing a vast, open canvas where players can let their imaginations run wild, Dungeons is an adventure game filled with discrete quests, characters, items and enemies. It still looks like classic Minecraft fare, complete with cube-headed characters and 3D swords with jagged, pixelated blades. While players are free to explore this new blocky universe, Dungeons is decidedly not an open-world game.