Minecraft worlds can't be used by companies to sell their products

Mojang has announced new guidelines for its sandbox game Minecraft, banning the use of the game by outside companies, non-profits and politicians to help promote or sell their products or services in playable form.

In a blog post, Mojang stated

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. That doesn't feel right, or more importantly, fun. The new rules are an attempt to stop these things from happening.

Here's what is now banned from Minecraft mods and servers:

  • Build a Minecraft mod or server that promotes unrelated products in playable form; e.g., if you are a restaurant chain, you can't market your restaurant by releasing a mod that includes your restaurant built out of Minecraft blocks.
  • Build a Minecraft map or mod that markets a movie or TV show; e.g., if you're a movie studio, you can't make a map that uses Minecraft blocks to build out the fictional world of the movie or its characters, and you can't make an official movie trailer out of gameplay footage from that map or mod.

Mojang is still allowing individuals who are fans of a movie, TV show or product from building things in Minecraft that celebrate them but don't actively serve as an official promotion.

John Callaham
  • The thought seems genuine, but also a bit unnecessary. I think we should be smart enough to choose to be involved in a promotion or not... And what about the dlc promoting unrelated IP's...
  • Probably has more to do with money that anything else.  I think the companies building these mods are basically using Minecraft for free advertising for their products/agenda pushing and I don't imagine they are paying MS/Mojang to do this.  The DLC is done as collaborations with other companies and MS/Mojang has more control over what gets added into a game and the DLC packs are generally just for fun.  Minecraft isn't meant to be Youtube.
  • On the other hand, any time such an entity used Minecraft to do something like this (think of the Verizon video chat Minecraft mod), it's usually Minecraft that gets focused on, resulting in free advertising for Mojang / Microsoft. I think these new restrictions are a mistake. The more people that use Minecraft, for any reason, the better. Minecraft is about empowering people to build things, not restrict them from building things. If I really loved a restaurant and that restaurant made a virtual version of itself in Minecraft, I'd think it was fun to see that in action. Bad move on Microsoft's part.
  • Not that I'm disagreeing with you about it being free advertising for Minecraft, it's just I can also seeing it being abused by these companies too.  Don't forget too that MS is about to market the game even harder towards kids and people in education, two groups that you don't want having access to an advertising free-for-all.  Notice that they aren't stopping people who are fans of these things from creating their own versions and sharing them, they are stopping the companies from pimping their own products.
  • If it is abused, then that's when Mojang's legal team can come in and stop it. That's far less resource-intensive to police a few rogue cases than to police all of them. I don't see how the pros outweigh the cons here. Many of Minecraft's coolest, most press-garnering moments came from sponsored content. I'd rather see how far Minecraft can be taken, and it takes a surfeit of resources to do that--something only  mega corporations can provide.
  • "I know abuse when I see it" just doesn't work anymore. I'm glad Microsoft spelled out the new policy, if for no other reason than to keep [the insanity that is U.S.] politics from infecting Minecraft.
  • As I read the new rules, you are perfectly free to make a mod of your beloved restaurant and share that on a server. The restaurant company itself is prohibited from doing so for its own commercial purposes. I don't find that unreasonable at all.
  • I never said it was unreasonable. I said I think it's a bad decision. Some of the most creative things that have ever happened--both in Minecraft and in human history--happened because of a large investment of resources. I don't have the time to make a giant, accurate, virtual recreation of my beloved restaurant in Minecraft. Most people don't. But I'd love to see it be done. This rule is a slippery slope that forbids things that have already been done and have benefited Minecraft and the community.
  • Lol guess they'll move on to 2nd life
  • because Microsoft don't want to be Evil.... get it... :P
  • This is a perfectly appropriate response and policy. Modding has traditionally been by fans, for fans. It really should be for non-commercial use only (and product promotions certainly are commercial use).