You know how in the last post I said “Calm down. Everything’s going to be fine.” Well, it turns out that may not be true.
A week ago someone with enough leverage decided they didn’t want everything to be fine. As I previously mentioned, a few of the major Bukkit developers decided to tear everything down, but failed. Mojang came and saved the day. There’s only one problem. There are code contributions from countless authors in Bukkit. One of the major contributors, upon learning that Bukkit was owned by Mojang, decided to legally enforce his copyright. So he sent a DMCA notice to any sites that distributed his code. The only comment I’ve found from Mojang on this issue was this post explaining their point of view and claiming the “allegations are therefore wholly unfounded”. There has been nothing since then, so clearly it’s not so cut and dry. In the mean time no one can access or update Bukkit. Everything’s in limbo.
So, the community stepped up, leveraging many developers growing distrust of Mojang and years of frustration with Bukkit’s organization, to work together on a new API for servers. It is called Sponge. This would take a LOT of work to accomplish, but would avoid some> of the legal issues with Bukkit as well as learn from some of the more fundamental issues with Bukkit’s API. Obviously the situation isn’t ideal, but the community is trying to adapt as fast as it can in a difficult situation.
This brings me to yesterday’s rumor that Microsoft is in talks to buy Mojang/Minecraft for $2 billion. At first I dismissed it outright. Notch has consistently shown resistance to this kind of buy out, as well as a distrust of large corporations like Facebook and Microsoft’s influence on the PC gaming space. However, this rumor isn’t going away and there was no response from Mojang. And as more small details trickled in, I began to doubt my intuition. I hope this isn’t the case, but if Microsoft controls the future of Minecraft, we have a problem. The mod community in part depends on Mojang’s good intentions. If Microsoft decided to enforce their copyright and EULA more strictly, this would nearly destroy the modding and possibly server community. Even if they didn’t, the mere threat of such litigation would be enough to stifle much of the work that has already been done. The golden days of Minecraft on PC could be over.
I’ve been waiting to see how things play out before I made this post. But while I know you may have missed the Bukkit fiasco, it’s doubtful you haven’t heard of the rumor of the Mojang purchase. All of this is following one of the longest development times for a Minecraft update (over 10 months), making you wonder: when will we ever see 1.8? I really don’t know. It’s frustrating and sad, but as always I remain hopeful when there is doubt.