Minecraft: New marketplace for community creators

Minecraft wants to make it easier for players to get hold of content made by fans and community creators.

Many users already build intricate worlds to explore, adventures to play or even modify the game itself to offer brand new experiences within it.

Now they’ll be able to officially sell that content through the game itself in the new Minecraft Marketplace.

“We want to enable entrepreneurs to set up businesses on our platform,” producer John Thornton tells Newsbeat.

Minecraft Gameplay

Image caption The new Minecraft Marketplace will be accessible on Windows 10 and Pocket editions of the game

Until now people who create adventure maps, character skin packs or experiences to play in the game have not been allowed to sell them directly to other players.

Only official Minecraft content could be sold in that way, but that hasn’t stopped some people making a living from the game.

James Delaney, is founder of a group of Minecraft creators called Blockworks and he’s managed to create a business despite the restrictions.

The Marketplace is welcome news for him.

“Hopefully it’s the start of regular and stable income,” he tells Newsbeat.

“In the past we’ve been relying on commissions to come in, and you’re never quite sure when that is.”

He’s in charge of 62 creators working in 20 different countries.

Their main source of income come from building Minecraft-based content for marketing and educational campaigns.

Minecraft Gameplay

Image caption Nine creators will have their content on sale in the marketplace to begin with, there will be application process to add more people in the coming months

James “got quite into” building Minecraft maps with friends online and realised a few years later that there was an opportunity to make a living.

“At least we know there is an audience there for our content now,” he says.

“If it’s successful, we know we can keep working on a more regular and stable basis.

“Also it’s content we can choose to produce, rather than be asked to make, so we’ve got creative control over it in that regard.”

Minecraft Gameplay

Image caption Community creators will still be able to make and share content outside of the marketplace

The marketplace will go live later this year and will be accessible on the Windows 10 and Pocket versions of the game.

It means the majority of the estimated 120 million players of Minecraft worldwide will have access to it, although people who play on consoles won’t.

“Our vision is to try and connect creators with our players,” says John Thornton.

“On Pocket edition it can be tricky to get content onto devices, so it’s difficult for creators to show off content they want to share with the world.

“By connecting creators to the marketplace it’ll make it much easier for players to discover something they want to play with, buy it and have it on their devices.”

People will still be able to create community experiences outside the marketplace, with players able to access them for free.

Producers hope that people will choose to pay for the content that is easier to find.

Minecraft Gameplay

Image caption James Delaney and his colleagues have created an experience called SkyFair for the launch of the marketplace

“If you want to share content at the moment you have to put it somewhere on the internet and tell people where to find it,” says John.

“You can use existing social media to do that, but it’s way more effective if we bring that into the game itself.

“Players, in the context of playing the game they love, can just find what they want to interact with.”

He hopes the development will allow people like James to have thriving businesses through the game.

Minecraft Gameplay

The Minecraft team are launching the new service with nine creators from across the world to begin with.

The adventure maps, skin packs and experiences will be monitored by the central Minecraft team to make sure they’re appropriate for the game’s audience.

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