In 2021 alone, the mobile version of the popular video game “Minecraft” generated $160.7 million in global IAP revenues. This represents a 12.68% increase over the previous year. Interesting enough, the video game is only on the rise despite its age– partially due to its acquisition by Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report in 2014 for $2.5 billion.
Recently, a new update for the game was released called 1.19.1 with a host of new features intended to improve it. But the announcement faced immediate backlash, with floods of tweets expressing distaste for Microsoft. This now leaves gamers and fans with uncertainty for the beloved game’s future.
What is Minecraft?
Developed by Mojang Studios, “Minecraft” is a pixelated “sand” video game where players are encouraged to build shelters and survive. There are also servers, where players can create worlds for other users to join, communicate, and play games with others through the help of mod packs, mods, and resource packs.
The game can be played on Microsoft Windows (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation ReportApple’s MacOS (APPLE) Linux, iOS, Android (Google) – Get Alphabet Inc. ReportXBox One, Nintendo’s Switch (NTDOF) and PlayStation 4 (SNEJF) .
The #SaveMinecraft Movement
After the release of the newest update, Twitter user @ImAPainYatta started the hashtag #saveminecraft on Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Reportstating their distaste in regards to the changes, which alter communications channels and how players were able to play previously.
The changes include changed to how message approval works, including how messages containing profanity will be noted and modified. But the addition that seems most upsetting to longtime players is the new Social Interactions screen, which allows players to select and report inappropriate chats in the game. If a player is found guilty, they can be permanently banned from playing the game in the future.
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Why Are These Changes Upsetting People?
One of the key reasons that the update has caused an uproar is the concern that people could lose their access to the game entirely, or be wrongfully banned by others online.
Others feel it’s a violation of their freedom of speech and doesn’t represent what “Minecraft” stands for (in this tweet, references are made to the dystopian novel “1984” by George Orwell, where freedom of speech is not allowed and characters are surveyed by “Big Brother”).
Others believe Microsoft has an ulterior motive.
Despite all the backlash, there are also some that feel it’s a great update and like the aspect of how it can potentially protect younger players.
Stuart Duncan, the founder of the “Minecraft” server Autcraft (which is exclusive to players with autism), pointed out that there was some conflicts between what people who play the game seemed to want.
Regardless of one’s stance on the Global Moderation update, it has definitely brought up major concerns with a community that has played “Minecraft” for more than a decade.
Mojang community manager MojangMeesh responded to the outcry in a Reddit post in the official “Minecraft” subreddit.
“First, we know that there has been pushback to the player reporting system that is being introduced in this next update. We appreciate and value your feedback, but it does not mean that feedback will always change the design principles of Mojang Studios adheres to — This includes the upcoming reporting system. Second, while we understand this may not be the answer some of you were hoping for, we are not planning on changing it.”