The never-ending, often one-sided clash between game developers and players: a tale as old as time. They might make our favorite games, update them regularly, and communicate consistently, but – for some – it’s still not enough. We want more. It’s not much to ask, right? Well, that certainly seems to be the mindset behind the Minecraft mob vote petition that’s blowing up on the socials ahead of Minecraft Live this Sunday.
Let’s start with some brief context on this Minecraft mob vote petition and boycott. Each year at the Minecraft Live developer broadcast – a celebration of Minecraft’s past, present, and future – three Minecraft mobs (or sometimes biomes) go head-to-head for community votes to become the next to arrive in the vanilla game. There’s usually some controversy, like that time Minecraft YouTuber Dream arguably swayed the vote by encouraging his legions of fans to vote for the glow squid – which won. This time, what is intended to be a fun, community-driven event is being overshadowed by a demand for the mob vote to be scrapped altogether and for Mojang to add all three mobs. The thing is, this kinda misses the point.
For me, the Minecraft mob vote isn’t about the mobs. It’s about the vote and the Minecraft community itself. It seems to me that Mojang, by introducing this feature after the in-person Minecon convention had to be shelved, was trying to keep the community involved. Moreso, in fact, as this event is no longer limited to the select few who can attend in person. This is made more obvious in the new voting system, which takes place inside a Bedrock edition server. Sure, again, not everyone has Bedrock edition, but those players can still vote online. Those who do can log into a multiplayer online server to vote and play minigames alongside others. The intention is clear. So why do we have to turn something so innocent and, frankly, inconsequential into an argument?
It’s not like we don’t already get enough new content in Minecraft year after year. If anything, it’s one of the most consistently updated games ever, with a new, game-changing update taking place every year. Some of those are smaller than others, which is also fine. The Caves and Cliffs update, however, was so big that it was split into two and literally made the entire world bigger. The 2019 Buzzy Bee update, meanwhile, focussed on – you guessed it – bees. Mojang has already changed the way it announces these updates due to another backlash surrounding the premature reveal of fireflies. Earlier this year, we got a new biome, two new wood types, interactive bookshelves, new blocks, ores, and even new characters. These things take time.
One of the major complaints is that we never see the losing mobs, and I agree it’s a shame we lost out on the Minecraft Rascal from last year’s mob vote – he was a cutie. But we did get the Sniffer, camels, archaeology, armor trims, and other long-sought-after features. When is enough enough? If we scrap the mob vote, we won’t get more – we just won’t get the option, the involvement, the discussion. We won’t get to see into the minds of Minecraft developers each year and help decide the future of the game we all love.
I know what you’re going to say: “games press taking the side of the devs, there’s a surprise,” but it’s really not about sides. It’s about a game that I personally have played and loved for many years, and a community that has always been one of the biggest, brightest, and most diverse of them all. It’s about what used to be an in-person event, Minecon, driven online by a global pandemic, and developers trying to retain some form of community involvement. And it’s about the people bringing us games, doing their jobs, who can never seem to do right for doing wrong.
Cynics out there will say I’m living in a fantasy, but, hey, let’s live and let live, and be thankful for what Mojang is trying to do. By all means, take your frustrations out on the issues that deserve it, and if you don’t like what Mojang is doing, there are plenty of other games like Minecraft out there. As luck would have it, we’ve even compiled lists of our favorite dedicated crafting games or building games for you to peruse. For those sticking around, we’ve got all the Minecraft seeds and Minecraft mods you could ever need.