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Mojang: Minecraft is not an advertising platform

New rules prevent third-party entities from using Minecraft and its gameplay for promotional purposes

The huge popularity of Minecraft has made it a viable platform for selling third-party products, and Mojang is very uncomfortable with that idea.

The Microsoft-owned Swedish developer has introduced new rules to prevent third-party entities from using the world and gameplay of Minecraft for promotional purposes. In a blog post published yesterday, Mojang's director of creative communications, Owen Hill, said that the rules were "completely unrelated" to "the usual server and video monetisation."

"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," Hill said. According to a new section of Minecraft's Commercial Usage Guidelines - titled "Building Promotions With Minecraft" - the rules are designed to prevent, "corporations, businesses, advertising agencies, non-profits, governments, and other entities," from using MInecraft as an advertising platform.

Specifically, the following uses of MInecraft are now prohibited:

  • Build or commission others to build, a Minecraft mod, map or server that promotes or markets unrelated products or services in playable form; for example, you are NOT allowed to market or promote a branded automobile using a mod that depicts branded automobiles within Minecraft game play.
  • Build or commission others to build, a Minecraft mod/map/server that promotes or markets a company's movie or TV show; for example, you are NOT allowed to build maps and/or videos using Minecraft blocks that build out the world or characters of a movie to promote and market your company's or your client's movie or TV program.
  • Offer Minecraft gameplay displayed or projected publicly within physical locations; for example, you are NOT allowed to promote or advertise big-screen Minecraft gameplay inside restaurants or other commercial venues; and you are NOT allowed to charge money for Minecraft gameplay, leagues, or competitions in theaters where gameplay is projected onto the movie screen.
  • Create or commission others to create promotional or marketing videos or movie trailers through Minecraft gameplay; for example, you are NOT allowed to create or produce movie trailers through Minecraft gameplay for promoting or marketing a movie.
  • to promote your (or your client's) corporate brands, products, or services.

However, certain promotional activities will be allowed. Paid advertisements attached to user-created Minecraft videos are permitted, for example, and users are still free to express their enthusiasm for a product or person using Minecraft's building tools.

Mojang is also open to partnerships with third-party companies, such as a recent collaboration with Nintendo on a Super Mario DLC pack that was distributed to users for free. In that case, Nintendo actually issued copyright claims against videos created by Minecraft's community, despite previously offering assurances that it would not do so.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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