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."