Microsoft has announced it will add a new storefront for buying and selling third-party mods to Minecraft in a new update this Spring. The storefront, called “Minecraft Marketplace,” will arrive as part of the upcoming Discovery Update 1.1 for the C++ based “bedrock” versions of Minecraft — Windows PC, VR, and the mobile “pocket” edition — and will provide an curated list of de facto official mods to the game.
Although user-generated content has been a major component of many PC games over the years, Minecraft has been built upon its foundation. While the base game has always offered a strong, creative experience, users have added to that experience in all kinds of ways with interesting and experimental additions. According to Microsoft, Minecraft Marketplace will standardize quality, protect children from mature content and help curators make a living.
In Microsoft’s mind, the Marketplace will help younger gamers gain immediate access to some of the best maps, mods, and texture packs that are available, rather than having to sift through mountains of lower-quality creations to find the nuggets of gold.
Although popular content added to the store will be curated by the community — only the best-received maps and mods will make it through — Microsoft is also enforcing a strict maximum 10-plus age rating. Anything that wouldn’t be appropriate for younger audiences will not be allowed in the store. That could be a welcome addition for parents, who would rather their young builders didn’t stumble across more raunchy skin packs and worlds.
Minecraft Marketplace will use a new virtual currency, “Minecraft Coins,” though that currency can only be purchased with real money and not earned. Microsoft’s said that 30 percent of revenue from Minecraft coin sales will go to the app platforms – Google on Android and Apple on iOS in the case of Minecraft Pocket – and the rest will be split between content creators and the Minecraft team. Microsoft told Digital Trends that the “majority” would go to content creators, but didn’t clarify an exact percentage.
The first creators, whose mods will be available when the store launches, include Noxcrew, BlockWorks, Qwertyuiop The Pie, Blockception, Sphax, Eneija, Imagiverse, Polymaps and Razzleberry Fox, all of whom added unique adventure maps, texture packs, and entire game worlds.
Anyone interested in applying to add mods to Minecraft Marketplace can sign up through the Minecraft Partner Program. All creators are required to have a business license to sell mods on the store.
Updated on 04/12/17 by Jon Martindale – Corrected statements on Bedrock engine, Minecraft Coins and clarified earnings split.