The release of Title Update 12 to Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition meant support for texture packs for the console version of the popular sandbox game. There are hundreds of texture packs out already for the PC version though and 4J Studios confirmed Thursday that it wants to bring the best over to the Xbox 360 but there are legal obstacles that have to be maneuvered around first.
The problem with texture packs on the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft is that current policies require they have to be delivered/sold via the Xbox Games Store (formerly Xbox LIVE Marketplace). Microsoft and 4J Studios can't just copy and paste someone else's work without approval which means it is time to get the legal eagles involved.
"Microsoft legal is investigating PC texture packs on Xbox - seems more complicated than you'd think," 4J Studios wrote on Twitter. "We're waiting to hear back from them."
The vast majority of texture packs for Minecraft on the PC are created by individuals or small groups who do it simply because they love the game. These creators would have to be contacted and would need to sign the appropriate legal documents allowing Microsoft and 4J Studios. However, when you start talking about large and popular texture packs like Dokucraft that becomes problematic.
"Some of the PC packs have hundreds of 'contributors' too," 4J Studios noted.
Does Microsoft need to get sign offs and compensate all of the contributors to a texture pack no matter how large or small their effort might have been? Do they only need to get agreements from the leads on these projects? These are the problems that 4J Studios and Microsoft have to work through because of the unfortunately self-created problem with a closed console.
In the meantime, 4J Studios just released the Mass Effect 3 Mash-Up Pack and is planning more in the future with the top five most requested from fans including the likes of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Star Wars. However, the next release will be a non-game related texture pack according to the developer.
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