Scrolls, the battling card game from Minecraft studio Mojang, will finally shut down next week, on Tuesday the 13th of February. The official servers will shut down and the game become unplayable, though Mojang are hoping–not promising–that they will soon be able to release server software publicly so people can run their own. We’ve known for ages that Scrolls would shut down one day, since Mojang said in 2015 that they could only guarantee the servers would be up until July 2016. It’s gone a lot longer than that.
Mojang announced Scrolls back in 2011, then it hit open beta in 2013, and finally launched in December 2014. Only six months later, Mojang announced they would be putting Scrolls down because it had “reached a point where it can no longer sustain continuous development.”
In the middle of all that, the owners of The Elder Scrolls, ZeniMax, set their lawyers upon Mojang over the name ‘Scrolls’. It seemed daftly over-reaching, though ZeniMax did later announce their own Scrolls-y card game, The Elder Scrolls: Legends and trademark law is a known endless hellwar and I fear that even mentioning it means The Suits will have gumshoes tail me.
Anyway! What about the future of Scrolls? The game client will stop working when the servers shut down, but Mojang are hoping to give Scrolls some sort of life beyond that. As they said in this week’s blog post:
“We’ve made some progress towards being able to release the server software to the public, together with a slightly modified client that is able to connect to such servers. While we are still unable to guarantee this will happen or set a date, we have high hopes that we’ll be able to do this in the next few weeks or months. If and when this happens, the game client/server will not be open source. However, the game database will be fully editable by the community. This would allow for some degree of customization, including tweaking card stats, making new cards out of existing rules, changing various configurable settings (such as gold gain), and modifying the set list of trials.”
That’s still only a maybe, mind, a plan and not a promise.
If you’ve Scrolled, you might fancy joining one last tournament. Mojang point out that this community-organised tournament is on Sunday. A number of Mojangeers are planning to play on Friday too, if you want a chance to bump into them.
What’s Scrolls like anyway, gang? I’ve steered clear because I have am overly fond of card games and they do bad things to my life. I know Rich Stanton liked what he played.