Minecraft is getting an update this spring that will add a number of new features, but the most dramatic might be the Minecraft Marketplace, a storefront where users can buy and sell in-game creations for real money. The Marketplace will offer maps, texture packs, skins, min-games and more, all curated by the Minecraft team. The launch catalog will feature selections from a handful of creators picked by Minecraft to take part, but the plan is to eventually open it up to any users with a registered business in time, and you can apply to register here.
To buy in Minecraft Marketplace, users will employ Minecraft Coins, which will be on offer in-app in exchange for real money. The team is looking at ways to make the content users buy available across devices, so that when they buy on Windows 10 it’ll be available on mobile and vice versa – this will happen via an Xbox Live account, which is probably a good way for Microsoft to convert some Minecraft fans to users of its other services.
The public beta kicks off on Android in mid-April, which is primarily about testing the in-game virtual currency. Those looking to pick up and use the new in-game content will have to wait until the full launch later this spring.
This is obviously a big change in how Minecraft and its economics work, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays with the company’s passionate existing user base.