New Minecraft Rules Curb In-Game Promotions

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Minecraft has morphed from simple sandbox video game to thriving digital ecosystem, where real-world companies conduct business in 8-bit form.

But developer Mojang is putting an end to that practice with an updated set of guidelines.

The game has become so popular, Creative Communications Director Owen Hill said, that it is now "a viable place for companies to advertise unrelated products or for organizations to promote their causes."

Moving forward, ad agencies, corporations, non-profits, and politicians are banned from hawking their own brand, or hiring someone else to do it.

Basically squashing all unofficial sponsorship opportunities, the new rules state that companies cannot build a server that endorses a particular product or service—i.e. Applebee's shouldn't release a mod featuring the restaurant built out of Minecraft bricks.

Similar restrictions apply to movie and television studios: Hollywood can't advertise fictional worlds by building a map or mod. And don't even think about making an official trailer out of gameplay footage, Mojang said.

The company, however, is quick to point out that these regulations apply primarily to ad agencies and corporations. Fans of a particular restaurant, movie, TV series, etc., are still free to build things in Minecraft that represent or celebrate them—as long as you're not trying to promote a specific cause.

"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," Hill wrote in a blog post. "That doesn't feel right, or more importantly, fun."

For more details, read the new rules in the "Building Promotions with Minecraft" section of the Commercial Usage Guidelines.

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