Minecraft Realms, a paid subscription service for online multiplayer hosting, is now available in North America, developer Mojang has announced.
The service, which costs $13 a month, makes it easy to set up a server, and also automatically backs up the world at regular intervals so the host can restore realms to previous save points. Up to 20 players can be invited to a Realms server, and up to 10 of them can play at any one time.
The service is aimed mostly at parents, who can use it to easily setup a server for their kids and restrict access to insure a safe online experience. It’s also available in other countries listed on Mojang’s website.
Last year, Mojang CEO Carl Manneh said that if the Minecraft Realms service catches on, it could be the company’s biggest source of income.
“We have about 10 million paying PC gamers [now 14.7 million] and, soon, as many mobile gamers [more, actually, at 21 million], there's definitely potential," he said. "And yes, if we look ahead, I do think [Realms will] be the biggest source of income in the future, and to bring in more money in total than the game itself."
Last week, Mojang also said it expects to launch the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita version of Minecraft by September.