Due to the Microsoft Account migration, Minecraft is now an adult game in South Korea

Minecraft Village and Pillage Update
Minecraft Village and Pillage Update (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Minecraft is the most popular game in the world, and caters to a wide variety of gamers across all ages and groups.
  • In South Korea, however, Minecraft has suddenly become an adult-only to many users, thanks to a long-standing local law and Microsoft Account migration.
  • Microsoft's Xbox Live accounts have restricted online play to adults 19 and older since the controversial "Cinderella law" was passed.
  • Now, the migration from Mojang Accounts to Microsoft Accounts is preventing many children from accessing their favorite game.

Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world by a wide margin, and is played by hundreds of millions of people every month. In South Korea, Minecraft continues to be a beloved game by plenty of people, but things are getting a little difficult for South Korean children that want to play Minecraft. Microsoft is moving forward with their plan to migrate all Mojang Accounts to Microsoft Accounts, so that all Minecraft versions, even the older Minecraft: Java Edition, are powered by one account.

However, this migration has seemingly clashed with a local South Korean law, according to The Korea Herald (via GamesIndustry.biz).

In 2011, South Korea passed the "Cinderella law," a still-controversial regulation that restricts online gaming for children 16 and younger from midnight to 6 a.m. This combination of required screenings led Microsoft to require all Xbox Live users in South Korea to be 19 and older, rather than setting up dedicated servers for the region. Since the law passed, children in South Korea have continued to play one of the best PC games for kids by using Minecraft: Java Edition and a Mojang Account.

Now children are unable to access even that last bastion of child-friendly gaming, as the migration to Microsoft Accounts has come into effect in South Korea.

The "Cinderella law" in South Korea is quite controversial, especially as studies have shown negligible improvements to how much sleep children are getting per night (the original focus of the law). Still, the law remains, and playing some of the best kids games has become near-impossible thanks to the combination between this law and Microsoft's decision to restrict Xbox Live access. For now, South Korea is the only place where Minecraft is practically labeled as an adult game.

While the law does make things difficult for gaming companies that wish to bring their online games to South Korean children, especially with the added costs of likely needing dedicated servers for the region, this still brings Microsoft's lackluster attempts at localization into light. Xbox users everywhere have banded together to request better localization, an area where Microsoft has historically struggled to deliver. Hopefully, this will be one instance where Microsoft will shirk expectations.

A Microsoft representative told GamesIndustry.biz, "We are proceeding with the global migration of Mojang accounts to Microsoft accounts for Minecraft: Java Edition including for our players in South Korea. We're working on a longer term solution for existing and new players under the age of 19 in South Korea and will have more to share on this later this year."

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.