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article imageMinecraft gets its own virtual currency and in-app purchases

By James Walker     Apr 10, 2017 in Technology
Minecraft is being updated with a new community marketplace that lets players purchase creations made by other players. Designs made by other Minecraft players can be purchased using a new virtual currency that can be bought through in-app purchases.
The update will initially be available for the Windows 10 and Pocket versions of the game. The new Minecraft Coins currency will be tied to your account using Microsoft's Xbox Live service. Once you've purchased Coins, you'll be able to spend them in the marketplace.
The marketplace will initially support Minecraft maps and worlds, texture packs and minigames. Minecraft creator Mojang is teaming up with some of the most popular community members to start off the store. Once it's been available for an initial testing period, the scheme will be expanded include anyone with a registered business.
The features aren't intended to allow players to share items with each other. Instead, gaming celebrities such as YouTube creators and live streamers will be able to use the marketplace as an alternative income stream. They can use it to make money by putting their best creations up for sale, exposing them to every Minecraft player.
Minecraft Marketplace
Minecraft Marketplace
"The idea is to give Minecraft creators another way to make a living from the game, allowing them to support themselves in the creation of ever-greater projects, while giving Pocket and Windows 10 players access to a growing catalogue of fun stuff – curated and supplied by us, safely and simply," said Mojang in its announcement.
Players can already install content created by other players to access them in their game world. The dedicated store will make it more obvious to new users that there's a thriving community around the game, encouraging people to try out popular assets.
It will also help content creators to gain exposure. If a player purchases a world from a respected YouTuber, they may later watch a video showing how it was built. The system is meant to solidify Minecraft's community and support sustainable incomes.
Minecraft Marketplace
Minecraft Marketplace
That's not to say there won't be issues with its implementation. By adding micro-transactions and a virtual currency, Minecraft on mobile devices will join the thousands of other games facing the problems with in-app purchases.
Last week, an 11-year-old child accumulated a £6,000 bill by inadvertently making repeat transactions in an iPad game. Minecraft will now be another title putting families at risk of bill shock. Its immense popularity with young players could lead to similar cases of accidental over-spending on coins.
Mojang said that the new features will start rolling out as a public beta on Android devices in mid-April. A wider launch will come later in the spring. Creators selling content through the marketplace will receive the "majority" of the income from Coins purchases. That means they'll see most of the money after the app stores take their 30% cut. Mojang will be assigning itself a minority share.
More about minecraft, minecraft coins, inapp purchases, microtransactions, Mobile
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