The store, opening in spring, will let companies sell in-game texture packs, landscapes, and story contente. All transactions will be in a new currency called Minecraft Coins, which you purchase with real money.
Executive producer John Thornton told Bloomberg:
For the first time we are going to enable creators to come in and put content into our store alongside the same content that Minecraft makes. The real impetus is to let creators connect to players and help them make a living on top of Minecraft.
Microsoft and Mojang will vet everything before it hits the store’s virtual shelves, and the store won’t be open to just anyone. At launch, nine developers are allowed to sell their content. Hopefully this will keep the content clean enough for Minecraft‘s audience of school-aged children.
So far the whole thing sounds fairly lackadaisical. Thornton says that the store has no upper price cap and developers will be able to choose their own prices. The developers will be paid a cut of what Microsoft makes from the sale of Minecraft Coins. Minecraft looks set to become every freemium app you’ve ever played in your life.
It’s a nice idea to let people who mod for Minecraft make a few dollars — maybe more than a few, considering pics on the Minecraft site suggest Coin stacks will sell for up to $9.99 — but we’ve seen this before when Steam did it. That got them nothing but a huge backlash, though Minecraft‘s more curated model could fare better.