I’m making great progress on 1.7, and we’re only a few weeks away from the first beta.
There are many great new things coming that you will love, but I thought it was time I let you know of a change that is coming that some of you might not like. I wanted to make sure you have plenty of warning.
A few years ago, back before we had the cloud, you either had to host multiplayer games on your own Mac, or pay to use the BlockServer service. This meant there were very few servers available to join. If you created a server, lots of people would come and play on it, and we had far fewer worlds to choose from, but on average they were busier and higher quality.
These days, around 5,000-10,000 cloud worlds are loaded up on any given day, with the vast majority of those only having one player (the creator) in them. 500 to 1000 new cloud worlds are created every single day! It’s hard to find anyone to come and join your world, because it’s too easy to create worlds, and there are far too many to choose from.
When I introduced the cloud, I made it so you could use time crystals to pay for servers. I did this to make it as accessible as possible, so anyone could create a world and invite players. However it ended up being way too easy, and I didn’t expect anywhere near this many worlds to be created. There really isn’t much point creating an online world if there is no one looking for worlds to join. I want to encourage more people to play in fewer servers because the game will be more fun that way.
I also have to consider the costs of running the cloud (which is thousands of dollars a month), and given the large amount of time crystal piracy and dwindling revenue from video ads and IAPs, something really needs to change.
So I have decided that in 1.7, The Blockheads will require In App Purchase for creating and topping up all cloud-hosted worlds. This change will happen on the day that 1.7 is released.
The pricing isn’t final, but I expect it will be very close to (in USD) 99c for 7 days and $2.99 for 30 days.
In case there is any concern, I’m also working on a number of things to help address issues with more players in more advanced worlds. For example there will be new ways to get flint and clay and other base resources when they have been stripped. And I’ve done a lot of work to fix issues with hackers, and with server rollback problems for large worlds in 1.7.
I’m sorry if this change inconveniences or upsets anyone, but I feel it is the right thing to do for the future of The Blockheads.
EDIT - A few more clarifications:
- You can still use TCs for all the other things they are used for
- You can still watch videos to get TCs
- You can still join worlds for free, play single player worlds for free, and host worlds on a Mac for free
- Any existing world credit that has already been paid for using TCs before 1.7 goes live will remain valid
- Anyone can still buy world credit for any world, even if they didn’t create or don’t own the world
- There are no plans to expire old worlds at the moment. If worlds run out of credit, they can still be restored by adding credit for at least a year from when they run out, probably longer