Posted: Nov 20, 2023 in Minecraft
What if I told you that Mojang has officially approved Minecraft Pay-To-Win servers? Well, I’d like to believe that you’d think I’m lying but realistically, this is expected behavior at this point, right? Unfortunately, this is the cold hard truth. Mojang has recently launched the official Minecraft server list, a new website with tons of unique rules and regulations that each server must follow. Today, we’ll be going over how this website has already failed at achieving one of its highest priority goals: the safety of children playing Minecraft. Let’s begin.
So, if you weren’t already aware, Mojang has recently launched the official Minecraft server list. This is a website that acts as an answer to the multitudes of third-party websites that compile all of the possible Minecraft servers in an attempt to consolidate everything into one officially supported platform. This list is meant to inform your choice of server without the interruption of ads or the unfair use of payments to list servers higher on websites. These factors along with a fairly strict acceptance process and enforcement of the Minecraft Usage Guidelines are meant to create a platform that prioritizes servers that are deemed ‘family friendly’ and accessible to children.
But unfortunately, as we have seen, the tactics and processes that this website uses are no more effective than that of the third-party websites that they mean to replace. This website has already failed to accomplish its goal, but how?
Every server in Minecraft must follow the guidelines set by Mojang. These guidelines have been set to achieve the goal of creating an environment where you get to do great things for the Minecraft community without others coming along and spoiling it for everyone, or so they say. These guidelines are meant to prevent toxic communities from forming and growing within the Minecraft community while also preventing unhealthy business practices from taking advantage of players, including but not limited to Minecraft Pay-To-Win servers. But what is a pay-to-win server?
In short, a Pay-To-Win server is a server that “sells entitlements that affect gameplay by giving a competitive advantage in the game”. And that makes sense. If one player can simply pay money to have an easier time than the other, that would lead to an unfun experience for those who don’t want to spend their hard-earned cash on a Minecraft server. Well, this leads us to our current situation.
The official Minecraft server list is very obviously directed at parents of young children. It can be seen when first opening the website that safety and security are the main values of the website, which makes sense.
This makes the shortcomings of the website all the more fatal. One of the first servers listed in the browsing tab offers different ranks that can be purchased for real-world currency, the top of which is a rank which goes for $74.99 USD. This rank has perks that offer access to /heal and /kit Warden which quite literally gives you a full Netherite kit of gear, full with everything you need to become ‘superior’ to your opponents. Ha! Next, a server offers a sale on their ranks as well, which of course, costs exuberant amounts of money and offers similar competitive advantages like mining speed, end crystals, tools, and special commands. The server in question even gives the ability to FLY to its patrons! Insane!
Keep in mind, that this list is supposed to be for CHILDREN. Unfortunately, kids are the most susceptible to these sorts of microtransactions, and there have been many such cases where parents have fallen victim to their kids purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of items/cosmetics in games without their parent’s permission. This issue isn’t just isolated, either. These are only two examples of pay-to-win servers that have been found on the website, but there are bound to be so much more. It was found that there are dozens of Pay-To-Win servers on this platform, all of which are fully endorsed by the Minecraft Server List. Normally, I wouldn’t be so torn up about this, but when the main priority of the website is to specifically list safe, ethical Minecraft servers and these are some of the top results, it’s embarrassing! What’s worse is that I didn’t have to do any major digging to find this information. These rank offers that grant competitive advantages can all be found on the main websites of these servers, quite easily I might add.
If the vetting process is so strict to the point where something like HYPIXEL can’t even get on this list, why are these extremely obviously pay-to-win servers surviving here? It doesn’t make any sense. When reviewing the process that is used to allow servers to be listed on the website, it is stated: “Gamersafer performs the initial reviews of servers that apply. These reviews are done with the official Minecraft Usage Guidelines and other resources as guidance, and GamerSafer may contact servers to clarify specific items or help them meet certain criteria before approval. After these initial reviews are completed and the server is prepared for a public listing, GamerSafer will notify Mojang Studios of the server’s status. Mojang Studios will give their final review at that time and may contact the server directly for any Minecraft Usage Guidelines compliance concerns or questions.”
Ok, with this information, we know that the third-party company Mojang has hired to manage this website is the main reviewer of applications, but that Mojang still plays a part in the review process by confirming through a final review where they may work with servers to help them reach the standard they are looking for. So from all of this, we can conclude one of two things: Mojang is either knowingly allowing Minecraft pay-to-win servers to exist, or there is a major flaw in the vetting process of the servers. Hopefully the latter, but we can never be sure these days. In any case, this is a bad situation either way.
Wow, what a royally messed up situation! Mojang keeps digging a deeper hole for themselves, and I really can’t help but feel bad for them at this point. We’ve reached a situation where we have to believe that they’ve either made a massive blunder or straight up are supporting unethical servers that are pay-to-win. I don’t even want to know which one’s the truth. In any case, be sure to check any server you play on for these types of immortal practices, and with that being said, have a great day!