Minecraft Bans In-Game Advertising Under These Circumstances

"The new rules are an attempt to stop these things from happening."

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Mojang today announced new measures it's taking to stop people and organizations from using Minecraft as a means to advertise their own products through sponsored mods and maps.

The developer has added a new section to its Commercial Usage Guidelines that explains companies and people cannot do these things (written by Mojang's Owen Hill):

  • Build a Minecraft mod or server that promotes unrelated products in playable form; e.g., if you are a restaurant chain, you can't market your restaurant by releasing a mod that includes your restaurant built out of Minecraft blocks.
  • Build a Minecraft map or mod that markets a movie or TV show; e.g., if you're a movie studio, you can't make a map that uses Minecraft blocks to build out the fictional world of the movie or its characters, and you can't make an official movie trailer out of gameplay footage from that map or mod.

"If you are an ad agency, corporation, non-profit, or politician, you can't do these kinds of things or hire someone to do them," Hill said.

If you love a particular brand, you can still build stuff in Minecraft that celebrates that, but Mojang said it will only be allowed as long "as the goal or focus is not to promote or sell that stuff."

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Because Minecraft is so popular, brands and individuals see it as a place to advertise their products or promote their own agendas--even if they're completely unrelated to Minecraft, Hill said.

"That doesn't feel right, or more importantly, fun. The new rules are an attempt to stop these things from happening," he explained. "We want to empower our community to make money from their creativity, but we're not happy when the selling of an unrelated product becomes the purpose of a Minecraft mod or server."

Companies can still pay to advertise their products--related to Minecraft or not--through YouTube videos and websites. You can see the full guidelines here in the Building Promotions section.

In other recent news about Minecraft, the sandbox game recently added a PvP multiplayer mode, while Minecraft YouTube videos featuring the official Mario Mash-Up Pack have been subject to copyright takedowns.

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