Daniel Kaplan, business boss for Mojang, spoke with Eurogamer about the Minecraft clones constantly popping up on all sorts of marketplaces.
Specifically, Eurogamer directly asked Kaplan for Mojang’s opinions concerning FortressCraft. That particular Minecraft clone sells on the Xbox LIVE Indie Game marketplace for $2, and it has actually made its developers more than $1,000,000 in sales. Here’s Kaplan:
“As long as they don’t use anything we MADE, we don’t care…Like, would the Doom creators sue everybody who has done an FPS? Don’t think so.”
What’s most frustrating for Mojang, and I completely agree with this stance, is that these cloners aren’t even doing much to expand upon the original Minecraft model. They aren’t bringing anything new to the genre, so their existence is borderline useless. Here’s Kaplan on this point:
“I’m really bored by the clones. They don’t bring anything new to the table, which is really sad.”
The copycats should be thankful that the folks at Mojang aren’t bored enough to sue.
When it comes to the creation of a genre, like first-person building with RPG elements, it’s fine for one developer or studio to lead the charge with others tossing their contributions into the ring afterwards. It happens in all media, one company leads the way and a few others hop on the bandwagon with different takes on the same idea.
However, the scary thing about these Minecraft clones is that they’re not presenting their takes on the genre. Terraria, for instance, is a game that was clearly inspired by the work of Mojang; inspired, but that doesn’t mean they went and re-skinned Minecraft in order to make millions. Terraria is unique, FortressCraft is not. FortressCraft, from its name down to its core mechanics, is essentially the result of copy, paste, skin.
What do you think of the Minecraft clones out there and their intentions?