Reader Kevin Murphy writes: “A look at the economics of the paid mods debate, and how damaging it could be to the industry depending on how it would be implemented.” …
Microsoft has had about enough of people using Minecraft for advertising purposes. An update to the game’s commercial usage guidelines lays down the law regarding what advertising agencies and other corporations can’t do using Minecraft.
Companies may not build a server or mod that promotes their products. An example of this might be a restaurant or other commercial establishment built within Minecraft.
Production companies are not permitted to create Minecraft versions of their television or movie properties or otherwise use the game to expand their own lore. They are not allowed to create a movie trailer using the game either.
“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,” writes Mojang’s director of creative communications Owen Hill. “That doesn’t feel right, or more importantly, fun. The new rules are an attempt to stop these things from happening.”
In December, Verizon hired Minecraft YouTuber SethBling to assist with creating a working cell phone within Minecraft. You can see that in a video that also features popular Minecraft personality "Captain Sparklez."
This won’t impact server and video monetization. Fans are still permitted to build brand-related things in the game, too. So if you really love a particular restaurant or store, you won’t be prohibited from doing that yourself. Despite that, a number of Minecraft streamers and YouTubers are speaking out against the changes.
Since Mojang sold, consistently what the community are able to do with Minecraft is being limited: https://t.co/ma41ZD5sUT Not a fan of this
— Vikkstar123 ★ (@Vikkstar123) May 31, 2016
The moves recently made by Mojang/MS are entirely within their rights, but at a cost they clearly cannot see. They are killing creator drive
— Tyler / Logdotzip (@Logdotzip) May 31, 2016
Extremely disappointed in the Commercial Guidelines update from Mojang. Protecting your rights and property is one thing, this is another.
— Jerome Aceti (@JeromeASF) May 31, 2016
As a business owner I understand protecting your intellectual rights but at what cost? Are you trying to discourage the Minecraft community?
— Preston [PACK] (@TBNRfrags) May 31, 2016
It’s easy to see why other brands would want to latch onto Minecraft’s popularity. But to do so without permission is just a lawsuit waiting to happen. Now that Microsoft and Mojang have put it in print, it should be clear that proper licensing is required for anything like what’s described above.
“A recent report from Bloomberg claims that Apple is investigating adding paid search to the App Store. Upon reading the article, I must admit that my immediate reaction was one of concern.” …
The Godus development debacle continues. Is it possible to finish the game and repair the company’s reputation with fans? …
Developer and publisher Electronic Arts has opened the new year by expanding its paid parental leave program for U.S.-based employees who have been with the company over a year to a full ten weeks. …
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is out today on Xbox One, more than a year after its announcement and more than two since the PC debut. The game is part of December’s Xbox Live Games with Gold, but if you want the full experience, it isn’t entirely free.
The game is listed for $ 14.99 for those that don’t have Games with Gold. Alongside the core game are two $ 3.99 DLC packs. Each includes an entirely new character class, different weapons, a new skill tree, different perks, three class-specific quests, and two additional maps for the single-player campaign.
The core game includes a single class that can be customized in different ways, but not to the extent that the Thaumaturge and Arcane Mechanic DLC allows. Xbox Live Gold members can grab The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing now as part of the Games with Gold program. For more on this month’s offerings, check out our previous coverage.
Games with Gold and PlayStation Plus are great ways for publishers to reinvigorate communities, energize franchises, and revitalize monetization for add-on content. However, with only class in the core Van Helsing game and two years since PC release, this doesn’t feel great.
While not a universal rule, late ports typically bundle in some or all of the content released as paid add-ons for other platforms. Two years later, it would have been nice to see the full experience delivered without day one DLC that amounts to more than 50 percent of list price.
A glance at the PlayStation Store’s current top paid Add-Ons rankings reveal that Destiny’s new Silver system is off to a strong start. To put it another way, that means that silver purchases are among the most popular paid add-ons being downloaded across all games available on Sony’s consoles. We asked Sony, and representatives told us that this listing includes add-on purchases in the last seven days. The three different tiers of silver purchases are all in the top five for recent sales, as you can see in the picture below.
Players are opting for the mid-tier purchase of 1100 silver ($ 10), followed up by the more expensive 2300 Silver option ($ 20). 500 Silver ($ 5) is the least popular option of the three, coming in at slot five.
It’s also worth noting that the only thing that is selling better than these microtransactions is The Taken King expansion itself.
I am firmly in the camp that cosmetic microtransactions can be an appropriate way to help fund an ongoing game’s development and money making. Right now, Destiny’s microtransactions exclusively fuel new emotes and cosmetic event items. If Destiny begins to have Silver affect in-game functionality or progress, I’ll be a lot more negative about it. Until then, it’s hard to take issue with the system, or the enthusiasm that players have for finding new ways to express themselves with their in-game characters. Based on what PSN is reporting here, the Destiny community seems to agree.
Some Valve staffers believe the company’s short-lived paid mod initiative was a good idea launched in the wrong place at the wrong time, & they seem open to trying again — with a different game. …
Both Sony and Microsoft are now experimenting with versions of early access. This morning, Trendy announced that eventual free-to-play Dungeon Defenders II will be arriving on PlayStation 4 this month in paid pre-alpha.
Dungeon Defenders II, an action-oriented tower defense game, has been in early access on PC since the end of 2014. This marks Sony’s first major push into pre-release payments, as those that want in on Trendy’s pre-alpha phase will need to purchase currency bundles.
Trendy isn’t maintaining parity with the PC version. Some features will arrive first on console, including controller support and split-screen. Others will hit PC early access before making their way to PS4.
Dungeon Defenders II will eventually be free-to-play. If you feel the need to play early, you can buy in starting on September 29.
[Source: PlayStation Blog]
I have strong feelings about paid early access games on console. I expressed concern when Microsoft rolled it out, and I echo those sentiments here. The average consumer won’t know what they are getting into unless these games are cordoned off in a separate area of the store with a pop-up or other informative screen prior to purchase.