Since its launch back in 2011, Minecraft has been nothing short of a phenomenon. It’s available on almost any platform under the sun, it’s generating billions of dollars in sales, and right now few can top its worldwide appeal.
However, that worldwide appeal might take a small hit, if the Turkish government has anything to say about it. As we reported earlier this week, Turkey is currently investigating Minecraft for claims of violence and the potential for isolation and may end up banning the game. This wouldn’t be the first time Turkey has banned a game before, mind you, but Minecraft’s appeal as a family friendly title is what makes this whole news so confusing.
Rather than fight the news head on, though, Minecraft developer Mojang has addressed the Turkey ban news with a measured response. They acknowledge that the game does have combat-focused elements, as players attempt to survive the night, but those are purely optional. In Creative Mode, for example, players can freely move about their Minecraft world without fear of Creeper attack. There’s also the option of turning on the ‘Peaceful’ setting in the game, which removes any need for combat.
“Minecraft is enjoyed by many players in a wide variety of ways. Many enjoy the creative freedom that’s presented by Minecraft and its tools, some are more interested by the opportunity to explore a landscape without boundaries and to go on exciting adventures with friends. We encourage players to cooperate in order to succeed, whether they’re building, exploring, or adventuring. The world of Minecraft can be a dangerous place: it’s inhabited by scary, genderless monsters that come out at night. It might be necessary to defend against them to survive. If people find this level of fantasy conflict upsetting, we would encourage them to play in Creative Mode, or to enable the Peaceful setting. Both of these options will prevent monsters from appearing in the world.”
Still, the Turkish Family and Social Policy Ministry do not believe those options are enough, and would rather see Minecraft banned.
While the Turkey Minecraft ban will likely put a small scar on Minecraft’s otherwise blemish-free resume, it’s unlikely to impede the game’s progress. As we mentioned, Minecraft has sold more than 60 million copies across all platforms, and just recently hit 100 million registered users.
That success all garnered a strong interest from major game publishers like EA and Activision, but eventually it was Microsoft who won out. It may not have been the ideal partnership, but Microsoft’s $2.5 billion dollar offer was apparently too high for Mojang to overlook.
As of yet, Microsoft has not detailed any major plans for their recently required property, but chances are they have a few things in the works. Turkey can ban the game if they want, but there is a voracious fan base out there waiting for new content, and maybe even a sequel.
Do you think Turkey will end up banning Minecraft? Do you consider Minecraft a violent game?