In a move that feels like it should have happened sometime ago, but is welcome nevertheless, Minecraft will soon be partnering with community developers to sell custom skin packs and adventure maps through an in-game storefront in the PC and mobile versions.
Dubbed the Minecraft Marketplace, it will feature the work of nine well-known community developers, among them Sphax, Noxcrew, Razzlerberry Fox. The storefront is significant not just because it signals a new level of cooperation with the community, but because it will make user-created add-on content available on Minecraft: Pocket Edition for the first time.
"We want to give content creators a stage while making a living off their work," said executive producer John Thornton.
The marketplace will feature an in-game currency dubbed "Minecraft Coins," which will be available in three tiers: $1.99 for 300 coins, $4,99 for 840 coins, and $9.99 for 1720 coins. Once purchased, content will be available on other platforms as well. This will make pricing more flexible, Thornton says, with creators being able to set how much they want to earn from their items. He expects most items to run between $3.99 and $4.99, with some being available for free.
Minecraft has long been known for its excellent community development; but to this point, it's been quite difficult to access most of that content safely. The Minecraft Marketplace figures to streamline that process significantly while surfacing some of the community's best add-ons. The store will feature a mix of new and old content, including popular resource packs like PureBDCraft—a mod that makes Minecraft look like a comic book. Additional creators will be able to apply to sell their content through an online portal that will go live along with the update.
In developing the marketplace's business model, Mojang opted to go with a heavily curated approach, carefully choosing a handful of chosen creators. They went with this approach in part to avoid some of the pitfalls that have befallen previous community stores, including the use of unauthorized IPs, wildly variable quality, and stolen content, Thornton says. It will also make it easier for these creators to build a business model of their own.
Once it goes live, the store will feature texture maps, skins, and adenture maps from the following creators:
- Eneija Silverleaf
- Razzleberry Fox
The store will be going live at the same time as the upcoming 1.1 Discovery Update, which will bring with it a wide variety of new options for customizers, such as the ability to change the movement of enemies. It will be available in Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition and Minecraft: Pocket Edition, which unfortunately excludes console owners. There is currently no timeline for console support. Look for the update and the store later this spring.