The challenge of setting up and maintaining a Minecraft multiplayer server is within the capabilities of experienced players but it can be above and beyond what casual gamers and parents are willing to do for their kids. In response, Mojang plans to introduce a Minecraft Realms subscription service to provide a "simple and secure way to allow their children to play online" according to a report released Wednesday.
Mojang is currently testing the Minecraft Realms subscription service which would provide a persistent world for owners to play in while also offering control options over who can join. There are also plans to allow the option to only allow in players that have trustworthy mods installed.
"Our costumers [for Realms] are parents who are tired of trying to act as server administrators on behalf of their kids," Mojang CEO Carl Manneh told GamesIndustry International. "Minecraft Realms will be a simpler kind of service, aimed at families and kids. 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."
The subscription service price has not been revealed yet but Mojang hinted that it is likely to be between $10 and $15 a month for only the server owner. 10 million players on the PC version alone plus a planned mobile version opens up a potentially huge source of continuous revenue for the independent developer if just a fraction sign-up for their own servers.
Manneh says that Mojang could create portals between different user worlds. "Then really Minecraft would become a huge MMO, a really vast universe consisting of very many small worlds," he said. "That's kind of a dream we've had for a while."
Minecraft Realms is currently in closed alpha testing but with plans for a beta launch in May for both the PC and mobile versions of the game.