Minecraft players will be happy to know that in the coming months, they will have a much wider range of officially-allowed items to select from. Creators of Minecraft mods and content will be able to sell their wares to an economy of more than 120 million players. Players will be able to purchase the coins via Microsoft’s Live store system, which spans multiple platforms. They will also be able to purchase them via Android and iOS. The coins will be added to a player’s wallet, and then they can spend them in the marketplace or on the traditional Minecraft store.
The marketplace will open with 9 major vendors, but virtually anyone who is motivated will be able to get their products listed on the store. Bitcoin users have long been able to purchase credit for Microsoft’s store via Bitcoin.
Much like all corporate “open” marketplaces, content will undergo a review process. Minecraft, after all, is played by millions of children (as well as adults), and it would be bad for business if parents were offended by what their children spent Minecraft Coins on. Presumably, alternative markets will pop up. Where there is a market, there is an alternative market. While users currently have no problem entering the market with a variety of currencies, perhaps an even-more-open market is in order.
However, that’s not how Microsoft sees it. Martin Garner, an analyst at CCS Insight, told Bloomberg Technology News:
This could be very relevant for Minecraft’s substantial base of younger users, who are unable to attach a credit card to their account. But, by using the Minecraft brand for the currency, Microsoft appears to see this as a self-contained move, rather than the start of something larger.
Perhaps this is a missed opportunity for Microsoft. Anywhere you have 120 million with the same interest in mind, you have a lot of avenues for new revenue, more than just creating a marketplace. It has not been announced whether or not the tokens will be transferable between players or not. If this were the case, then the creation of third-rail marketplaces would be much more possible, in the same way that Brock Pierce’s Internet Gaming Entertainment platform enabled people to trade items from online games like World of Warcraft.
Minecraft’s blog post on the subject said this of the coins:
The idea is to give Minecraft creators another way to make a living from the game, allowing them to support themselves in the creation of ever-greater projects, while giving Pocket and Windows 10 players access to a growing catalogue of fun stuff – curated and supplied by us, safely and simply. And, of course, you can still manually download free community creations you’ve found out there on the internet, too.
It seems money even makes the gaming world go around, as increasingly games are subscription-based rather than one-time purchase.
Featured image from Shutterstock.