Minecraft Realms is a service designed for parents “tired of trying to act as server administrators on behalf of their kids”. Mojang plan to provide a simple and safe means of allowing children to play Minecraft online (and to keep them away from 2b2t, presumably), for a fee of between $10 and $15 a month.
Mojang CEO Carl Manneh told GamesIndustry that Realms will satisfy the needs of an audience not catered to by the existing Minecraft server and modding communities.
“Minecraft Realms will be a simpler kind of service, aimed at families and kids,” said Manneh. “In the future we aim to offer certain profiles with mods that are certified to work without crashing, but this will still be a safe and easy way for kids and families to play Minecraft online.”
Subscribers will have access to their own world, free of server-hosting concerns, and will invite other players into the game via a private friends list. Only the host need have a Realms account, and subscriptions will be payable via special pre-paid cards for those with no access to credit cards. The young, for instance.
“In the end I think this will get Minecraft new players, since there is a viral aspect of Realms. Kids will probably invite friends who don’t have Minecraft yet to play with them,” said Manneh.
“All we know is that there has been a great demand for this service. We have never tried to sell anything to our gamers except the game itself and a little merchandise, so it’ll be very interesting to see if the community will be prepared to pay for a service like this.”
Looking ahead, Manneh thinks Realms will be the “biggest source of income” for Mojang in the future, and will bring in “more money in total than the game itself”.
That’ll be no small feat, since Minecraft’s PC version toppled the 9 million copies marker at the end of January. And yet the success of stuff like Minecraft Harry Potter suggests it’ll totally happen. What do you think?