The end truly is nigh for fans of block bashing. Microsoft’s takeover of the Minecraft franchise has truly reached its zenith with the introduction of a digital storefront loaded with microtransactions, all payable through packs of Minecraft Coins (MC). These coins can be bought in packs, including denominations of 300 MC for $1.99, 840 MC for $4.99, and 1,720 coins for $9.99.
It’s all being rolled into Minecraft’s ‘Discovery Update’, which Microsoft and Mojang claim brings “a wealth of mystery for you to uncover!” This includes secret stashes of loot, treasure maps and a special Totem of Undying for travelling into the afterlife.
“But there are greater treasures still,” say Mojangsoft. “Made by the amazing Minecraft community and made easily available to you through the all new Marketplace. For the first time, Pocket and Windows 10 players can browse, download and play cool community creations from within the game itself.”
Mojang has partnered up with some well known members of the modding community such as Noxcrew, BlockWorks, Qwertyuiop The Pie, Blockception, Sphax, Eneija, Imagiverse, Polymaps and Razzleberry Fox, delivering a store filled with adventure maps, texture packs, minigames and more.
As with the ill-fated attempt by Bethesda and Valve to integrate paid mods into Skyrim, the aim is to give Minecraft creators a way to make a living off of selling cool things for Minecraft. It’ll be a curated list of the best bits and can be automatically grabbed and installed. If that’s not your thing, mod creators are still able to upload free creations through the usual channels, just as before.
You’ll need to sign into an Xbox Live account in order to access all of this, with a public beta rolling out on Android in mid-April. It’s unclear just when this update is going to arrive for PC users, however it is very much on the cards.
As infuriating as this will surely be for some folks, there's an air of inevitability to it ever since Microsoft snapped up Mojang the and Minecraft franchise. Minecraft is the second best-selling videogame of all time at 122 million units sold across all platforms, and Microsoft is going to be viewing that as a potential gold mine of customers. Fortunately for now the option for free content is still there, so there's little preventing players from doing exactly what they were before.
Action and reaction then folks, what's your take on this? Let us know!