Minecraft’s Bukkit Mod ‘Ended’ By Dev, Continued By Mojang

By Ben Barrett on August 21st, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

'Hang on, that's the wrong fucking shape! This is all wrong! Why am I squares?!'

The shockwaves of Mojang’s decision to begin enforcing their Minecraft EULA are still being felt. In a forum message posted earlier today, Warren “EvilSeph” Loo announced the discontinuation of Bukkit, the Minecraft mod designed to aid server management, citing both the EULA situation and a lack of support for the project in general (here’s a pastebin version of the original message).

Soon afterwards Minecraft lead Jens Bergensten pointed out that “the project was bought by Mojang over two years ago, and isn’t [Warren]‘s to discontinue.” Nathan “Dinnerbone” Adams, part of the original Bukkit team, then said that he would be taking over the project and updating it to the next version of Minecraft.

Bukkit is probably the most popular Minecraft mod in the world – the most recent recommended release had 2.6 million downloads, and I’ve used it the few times I’ve set servers up for LANs, assuming it was an official part of the game itself. It doesn’t have any mechanical effects, but is invaluable in streamlining the process by which servers are managed and updated.

Writing in this morning’s post, Loo explained his intent to stop the project was due to changes in the EULA, ultimately stating:

“At this point in time, I think it’s safe to say that it’s no longer worth it for us to put up a fight when it comes to keeping Bukkit and modding alive. With large and significant changes coming in Minecraft 1.8 that we’ll be hard pressed to provide support for and the lack of support from Mojang with updates since acquiring our original core team (Mojang used to provide us with mappings to speed up the update process), there is little motivation for us to continue limping on across various aspects of the project.

After Jens intervened, Loo talked on Twitter about how the purchase of Bukkit was part of the deal that got him and the three other members of its dev team hired by Mojang in February 2012. This doesn’t seem to have been clear to the community or those working on Bukkit until today, and wasn’t mentioned in the post announcing the hiring at either Mojang or Bukkit. They were hired to develop the official server API and management tool for Minecraft with the intention of making it superior to Bukkit, but while doing that they needed to keep Bukkit up to date so as to avoid any interruption in service for those who relied on it. In October 2013, Warren Loo left Mojang to “pursue other interests” but had originally planned to continue development of Bukkit in his spare time.

The initial announcement of Bukkit’s closure is therefore now an announcement that development is changing hands. It’s odd that Loo had forgotten (or misunderstood the implications of) the sale of the project, and just as odd that Mojang had seemingly stopped supporting it with preview builds and such. In either case, Loo doesn’t seem to have any problem with Mojang resuming future development and the possible drama bomb has thankfully fizzled out. Mojang still intend to make their own, better API but won’t be letting Bukkit go for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, Minecraft’s 1.8 update is very close now, with a pre-release build due to go out today. Notch has also stated that the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft he’d previously wanted to avoid (due to Facebook’s purchase of the company) was now “up to the dev team.

, , .

38 Comments »

  1. Jeremy says:

    So.. what actually happened? It sounds like everything is exactly as it was, but Loo just left.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      As I understand it, Loo is leaving Bukkit and updating Bukkit has fallen to Dinnerbone, it’s original creator and a core programmer at Mojang. It sounds like a change for the better, seeing as Dinnerbone is more familiar with Minecraft’s code. But his comments sounded like he wouldn’t work on Bukkit permanently.

      • trjp says:

        There’s a subreddit for sentences which would once have been meaningless but now make sense.

        http://www.reddit.com/r/stwnhms15ya

        “As I understand it, Loo is leaving Bukkit and updating Bukkit has fallen to Dinnerbone, it’s original creator and a core programmer at Mojang.”

        That would win the Internet – any Internet – any day.

        Close 2nd was “Galaxy Nexus: Android Ice Cream Sandwich Guinea Pig” (headline from an Android website)

        • clockworkaugment says:

          @ TRJP
          He didnt say pointless. Hes saying that the subreddit is for sentences that never would have made any sense until the modern era. His example sentence: ‘Galaxy Nexus:Android Ice Cream Sandwich Guinea Pig’ – is complete nonsense, except all those things are names so it makes sense to us. Trying to define it to someone who lives fifty years ago would be borderline impossible.

          In this case yours is a subreddit candidate because of the bizarre names involved as well.

      • Jeremy says:

        Perfect, thanks for the clarification.

    • JarinArenos says:

      TL:DR, Warren gets whiny about Mojang’s handling of the EULA decision, trumps up a reason to quit and tries to take his ball with him (in spite of a total lack of logic behind his reasoning). Jens responds in kind, getting irked and reminding him that it’s not his damn ball and hasn’t been for years. Upon further inspection, it wasn’t Warren’s ball to take home even before Mojang bought it. Curse bought it first and Mojang bought it from them. Civility is maintained on both sides, but you can hear the steam coming out of both their ears behind forced smiles.

      • pullthewires says:

        There’s been a lot of that in the community lately. I don’t understand it – Mojang say they are going to enforce the existing EULA more stringently because people, including young children, are being ripped off and upset, and the reputation of the game and the company is suffering for it, and people started frothing at the mouth.

        • Carados says:

          The entire Minecraft Modding community is like that, honestly. The amount of drama starting from the idea that someone else would distribute their free-to-distribute modifications for a game as a free package escalated to the point where Mojang is having to put feet down and deal with it.

          It’s somewhat amazing. I’ve had DMCA notices to my webspace for hosting a file that someone has literally zero legal right to DMCA.

          (Lets ignore almost all of these mods actually break the Minecraft EULA as well!)

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Well said. This doesn’t even begin to make sense to me: the EULA situation has absolutely nothing to do with Bukkit and wouldn’t have interfered with its development in any way. (Never mind it was bought in the first place lol.) I just sounds like the dev was looking for an excuse to quit, or he just saw the “hate train” pass and thought he might as well climb in.

        The mental images this story conjures are hilarious.

        I think that Mojang intended to keep the Bukkit team members they hire at work on their modding API, but since the maintainers of what was left of the public project dropped the ball, they’ll just maintain it themselves to ensure a smooth transition.

    • Premium User Badge

      frymaster says:

      Decoding Evilseph public statements is an art I’m only an apprentice at, but reading between the lines I think the burden of trying to code to a moving target (and one they have to de-obfuscate every release) was growing too much for the VERY small group of fiercely intelligent people who had to spend the many hours to update for every version. Having Mojang start waving the EULA around like a blunt instrument (in a different context, mind you) was also an issue since all current modding is against the EULA and the chance of any kind of modding being possible while complying is nebulous

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        All modding is against the EULA? It still states you can sell plugins for the game AFAIK. Decompiling the game is against the rules (it’s actually a major crime in the US to decompile any software unless explicitly allowed, btw), but Mojang have always been very tolerant of it (to the point of hiring some of the guys who were doing it) and there’s no reason why they’d change now. It’s not the same situation as the pay to win servers; their tolerance on that wasn’t really tested.

        • Carados says:

          Modding is fine, what people do that is actually against the EULA is essentially redistributing Mojang’s intellectual property (in the form of textures).

    • noizy says:

      From what I read in this story ‘egos were bruised’. I suspect life will go on for those who never heard of this news story.

  2. Chuckleluck says:

    Is Bukkit anyone’s to close down? Last I checked it was open source. If Loo left and Mojang hadn’t intervened, surely someone would take his place.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    How primitive. Now there’s no Loo, just a Bukkit.

  4. Didero says:

    Haven’t they been promising this API for a few years now?
    Or am I thinking of a different API?

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      aye, Workbench

      http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Plugin_API

      Despite it’s ubiquity, it seems like most of Bukkit’s users are completely unaware of Mojang’s efforts to assume authorship and incorporate it into Minecraft.

      • Didero says:

        So they have been saying for more than 4 years now that they will add something that a bunch of fans have already made?

        • Phasma Felis says:

          The problem, IIRC, is that without cooperation (or at least without complete cooperation) from Mojang, the fans have to REmake it every single time a new version comes out, and it doesn’t work with the new one for weeks or months while they get everything ironed out.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Yeah it would be pretty good if Bukkit worked with Minecraft from the get go rather than being delayed after every release.

          • WedgeJAntilles says:

            And we were promised that shit would end way back when they hired the Bukkit team. Two and a half years later and we *still* don’t have an official mod API. But hey, we have horses now, so I guess that’s something.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          You’d have to be dumb to really think that. Of course, you’re not dumb so you’ll realize that Mojang have done major core changes to the game over the last years to pave the way for easier modding. Restructuring the code, reorganizing the data files so users can change more things more easily, support for animated textures, rewriting the display and terrain engines, making the entity system more flexible, and so on and so forth.

          There’s no point releasing a modding API if they change it every version, since it’ll just slow down development of the core features, and it’ll piss off the modders who’ll have to constantly redo their work. Not really an improvement on the current situation.

          Once the structure of the game is modding-ready and more stable, they’ll finally release an API.

  5. Tei says:

    They can make installing it easier. And that would be a good thing.

  6. Premium User Badge

    keithzg says:

    I’ll be honest, I’ve drifted away from Minecraft, but if they put in official Rift support I’m going to jump back pretty much immediately.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      notch indicated that after the Facebook acquisition that wasn’t going to happen, but there is an unofficial mod that adds it, at least (minecrift).

      • subedii says:

        He’s said he’s over the whole facebook thing, so who knows.

      • Premium User Badge

        Martel says:

        From this article

        “Notch has also stated that the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft he’d previously wanted to avoid (due to Facebook’s purchase of the company) was now “up to the dev team.“”

        • derbefrier says:

          lol “up to the dev team” translated as

          “hey guys i made an asinine knee jerk comment about the facebook acquisition of OR. Upon thinking it over i have realized I am an idiot and pretty much just threw away buckets of money when i cancelled minecraft for the OR over some juvenile liberal mentality.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            Hahaha, you think Notch cares about money? Motherfucker is worth well over a hundred million US dollars. He could keep warm through the cold Swedish winter by burning $5,000 every day for the rest of his life and still die rich. Missing out on a little extra cash is the last thing he cares about.

            Also, do please look up the word “liberal,” because you don’t appear to know what it means.

  7. frightlever says:

    Interfering managers in video game development get a lot of flack, but this is what you get when you go too far in the other direction.

  8. geldonyetich says:

    You would think Mojang would put a lot more emphasis on implementing a full modding API, seeing how mods are a great deal of what has facilitated lasting interest in the game. I look forward to the day when we can log into Minecraft servers and have Forge-level mods automatically loaded as required, but it seems that day is still quite awhile from coming. Still, Bukkit-level mods are better than nothing.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      I you followed the dev logs with a smart eye you’d see they’ve been laying the ground work for that for a while now. Minecraft didn’t have a structure that was very conducive to modding, especially not if you want modders to be able to do everything they’ve done so far by hacking the game’s code.

  9. MellowKrogoth says:

    Something I’d really like Mojang to add to their EULA (maybe once they release their modding API) is that all published mods must be basically open-source, i.e. anyone in the community can build on other people’s work without any barriers such as permissions, as long as credit is given. It would stop a lot of the bickering and the incredible egotism in the community. You know, people decompiling Minecraft to make their mod, who then bully or even threaten with legal action anyone wanting to do the same with their mod.

  10. JademusSreg says:

    Sounds like a griefer failed to ignite a TNT block in another player’s claim.*

  11. jasondesante says:

    BIggest thing that got me to stop playing Minecraft as much as I used to was how they basically lie to the community. Mojang is awesome and all, but that modding API, was supposed to happen how long ago now? I think this guy is just frustrated by obvious things that are not cool and generally incompetent, which is sad since Minecraft is huge and they shouldn’t take advantage of it. Then again no one else is smart enough to make a better game so they deserve to take their time. But then again all the people making mods are the reason the game is awesome and not doing what you promised to make things better isn’t cool at all.

    I’m sad by this :(

    I bet it is simple misunderstanding stuff though and not a big deal.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>