developer Mojang today announced its intent to introduce a licensing deal that will allow mod developers to download the source code for the game.
In a post on his personal blog, Markus "Notch" Persson explained
that players will be given the chance to sign up for a 'mod developer' account. Mod developers will received a unique certificate for signing their mods, so that players will be able to see which individual developers made each mod.
Among the rules stated in the agreement, mods must only be playable for those players who have bought a genuine copy of Minecraft, and modders cannot sell their mods unless given a separate licencing deal with Mojang.
The terms also note that, "We retain the right to use your mod idea and implement it ourselves in Minecraft. This is to prevent the situation where we have to avoid adding a feature just because there’s a mod out there that does something similar. It’s also great for dealing with bug fixes provided by the community."
Only one licensing deal is needed per team. Originally, the modding license was going to cost money, but after a spot of confusion from the community, Persson quickly changed his mind and decided to make the mod API access free.
"In the long term, we hope this means people will do awesome new things with the Minecraft engine and play around with it," he said.
"We want to buy and/or license good mods and/or total conversions and sell them ourselves. It’s possible we might have a mod marketplace for selling and buying mods that fans have written, or we might purchase and integrate nice mods that fit the main theme of Minecraft."
Speaking to Gamasutra, Mojang business developer Danial Kaplan noted that the team don't yet know when this new system will be ready, as they "still need to work out a EULA".
In regards to how Mojang will decide which community mods to license and which to simply take features from, Kaplan explained that "this is something we will iterate on later on".