Microsoft is creating a marketplace for Minecraft where players will be able to buy maps and character packs from professional content creators selected by the company. There will initially be nine providers, with more expected to be added. Players will use Minecraft Coins, bought online through Xbox Live, to pay for the goods in the marketplace.
“Bringing other creators in to sell their goods is good for players, as it enables access to a ton of different kinds of content. We know that people want to change the look of Minecraft to be what they want,” said John Thornton, executive producer of Minecraft Realms. “There are also a number of individuals who look at Minecraft as a platform for entrepreneurialism, looking for a way to make a living doing something they love. For players, this is the best way to get content easily in the game, and for creators this ends up being a source of revenue for them, so they can continue to make fantastic creations for all the players.”
The nine creators who will join the Marketplace at its launch will be:
- Blockception – Made a replica map of London that evolves from the middle ages through to the modern day as players progress
- Eneija – Designs pastel skin packs. “I think they will be very popular with segments of our audience,” Thornton said
- Imagiverse – Made a pirate-themed map called “Privateer”, complete with sunken ships and treasure
- Noxcrew – Created a map that allows players to walk around and experience well-known fairytales
- Polymaps – Built Jurassic-themed texture packs, with dinosaurs and Dodos instead of chickens and cavemen instead of villagers
- QwertyuiopThePie – Made a multiplayer map featuring two spaceships, which teams can inhabit before battling each other
- Razzleberry Fox – A talented pixel artist, she has created skin packs featuring everyday heroes such as police officers, firefighters and nurses
- Sphax – Created a pack that makes the Minecraft world look like a comic book
- BlockWorks – Constructed a map entitled Skyfair – a collection of floating islands that feature funfair games.
“We selected nine creators to launch with,” Thornton added. “This is a curated marketplace, it’s not open, but we are going to work with creators to bring new ones in via an online portal, where they can apply to join. We think it’s important from a quality perspective to have a curated marketplace where we are reviewing the items and working with creators to make sure the content is appropriate and exciting for players.”
Microsoft believes the move will make it safer and easier for Minecraft players to enhance and expand their worlds, as transactions take place within the game and downloadable content can be screened to ensure it doesn’t contain viruses or malware.