Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably not you)

October 18, 2008 -

Let's say that, using Little Big Planet's marvelous in-game tools, you've created an awesome level, one so good that other users will want to own it.

I Have the Princess frets that Sony has awarded itself the right sell your design:

Sony have recently made changes to their PSN terms of use, notably adding terms and conditions for user generated content. No doubt, this is a legal precaution leading up to the release of Little Big Planet, obviously there needs to be guidelines to allow Sony to define and take action again inappropriate content.

But what really got my attention were some of the rights Sony have concerning your generated content…

    You also authorise us [Sony] and our affiliated companies, without payment to you, to license, sell and otherwise commercially exploit your User Material
 

IHTP notes that SCEE previously said that users could sell their LBP content.

GP sister-site GameCulture comments as well:

...in three weeks, we could all be working for Sony, crafting and sharing levels that Sony owns outright. Perhaps some of those levels will end up being packaged as downloadable content, much the same way that fruit of some of LittleBigPlanet's best beta players is being packaged with the official release.

 

Of course, there's nothing untoward about any of that. After all, the LittleBigPlanet model encourages users to share their levels for free. The revenue we generate for Sony by building their content for them is just part of the genius of their business model. Crowdsourcing for teh win.

 

But how does the equation change as user-generated content becomes less a matter of remixing existing intellectual property by 'modding' a game and starts to look more like the creation of original work? What happens when the systems game developers build for us are less games than platforms for the creation of new games?

 


Comments

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

 

"...the pessimist says "Company X is lazy by leeching off free labor!"

Well isn't that what they are saying when they tell us  "You also authorize us and our affiliated companies, without payment to you, to license, sell and otherwise commercially exploit your User Material" 

Why not just say "We reserve the right to reproduce user content for advertising and promotional use". I am a photographer and that is the verbiage I use so that I can use images of clients for advertising.

It seems like not to long ago Media Molecule and Sony where talking about hiring people to make content by letting users sell content. Now of coarse we all expect that they would take a big chunk if that ever happened, but nothing like this. The whole draw of the PS3 for people who enjoy online gaming is that it's free. KEEP IT FREE! Don't let anyone profit from user content. I think we can all agree that we wouldn't care so much about the ownership issue if they (Sony) wasn't trying to make a profit off of our work.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

What some people are worried about is that it may turn Sony into doing some speculative "crowd-sourcing" to produce content for their games. Kind of like a free opportunity for fans to contribute to their favorite franchise and publishing their work. The optimist says "It's nice for Company X to offer the chance to be part of a video game"...the pessimist says "Company X is lazy by leeching off free labor!"

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

So what about the people that developed the tools the game developers used or the hardware developers that made the equipment the game developers used? Why should they not get a cut from the game sales? 

-------------------------------------------

"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

yeah but surely those goods have already been paid for? The tools (e.g. compilers etc) have been paid for and licensed (NOT CHEAP ! believe me!), as have the hardware components (e.g. circuitboards, wires etc) used in the make up of the machine, with an agreement made that the use of such parts would not imply ownership of anything made from them.

If theyve agreed not to claim for a cut of e.g. the software produced from a certain compiler, then they cant claim. Any company is welcome to say that they should have a cut of anything produced using their 'components', as long as the user agrees. The point is that the opposite has been agreed in this case.

On the flip side If somebody plays LBP they agree that sony does owns their stuff. Dont have to play it. dont have to make that agreement :S

 

 

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Again same reasoning should apply... The person who makes the content has paid for the goods and invested time, talent and creativity into making the custom product just like the game developers.

 

The agreement the user is compelled to sign after the fact is the issue and it is not done in good faith as far as I'm concerned.

-------------------------------------------

"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

surely this is sensible?

 

the way i see it its just to prevent people selling stuff saying 'hey i made XYZ' ill sell it to yo ufor £20,

its the same as say an MMO where somebody sells gold/items etc.

At the end of the day it divides the community. By saying sony own it all, nobody can sell it, therefore its equal access to all.

 

Plus (playing devils advocate here) at the end of the day, yeah making a level is 'difficult' but it was far more difficult programming for 2 years to make the tools so you could make the level. Why should the developers not get a 'cut' if somebody is going to sell a lavel.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

 reminds me of what atari was doing

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

I can understand the concern to be sure.  To go back to the Google Chrome argument made elsewhere here though, remember that once outrage took place, Google changed the ownership sections of the EULA.  Now, they claim is was an error which I don't buy because companies the size of Google don't make amateur mistakes like that.  Not saying Sony will suddenly change their minds here but such things have happened.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Ethically they may be treading on thin ice, but ultimately anything you create in LBP is going to be a derivative work anyway, which means your rights to it are pretty much nothing from a legal standpoint.

EDIT: Although looking at some of the quoted legalese above is highly confusing . . .

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Derirative works is one thing, I'd fully support them saying 'You can't sell stuff you made with our game'. Where I get dubious is the apparent claim that any Intellectual Property of yours is automatically theirs because you made it with their game, you might not be able to sell it, but that's slightly different, to my mind, to not owning it.

 

It just strikes me as highly cynical on the part of a software company to be pushing for stricter and stricter control of their IP, whilst trying to take your own IP away from you.

 

It also sets an extremely bad precedent for the modding community in general.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Well, one thing about the modding community is that for the most part, mods contain custom code that expands upon what's already there. The creators just use the original game as a launching point so that they don't have to build the whole thing from the ground up and can appeal to an already installed userbase. Because of that custom code, the original game maker can't try to sell your mod without your permission. Its also why the game makers can't be held accountable for anything extra that gets added to a game by a mod.

I don't really see this ToS change as being a bad thing for the modding community since its custom code and not just using provided resources. Now, the mapping community, the ones who use resources supplied by the game maker like LBP levels do, it could be a bad thing for them. But there is a difference between the two communities, although overlaps do exist.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

I suppose it depends on the depth of modification available really, things like UnrealEd3 can, for example, be used to create entirely different games.

I suppose from my point of view it's not so much about this particular title, it's just something that doesn't bode well for the future if it is taken up by other sources.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

OK, just a sec, does anybody really think that Sony will sell your creations?  They may use it for advertisement but I don't think they'd dare sell your stuff without giving you anything.  The outroar would be huge. 

 

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

You do realise that gamers don't "own" the content on the game disks right? You just buy a license to use the content. It's kinda the foundation of intellectual property. I don't think that kind of ownership extends quite to user-generated content though.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

The content being discussed isn't what is on the game discs.  Rather it is what you can create using the TOOLS on said discs. 

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

...

Great.

 

(sonofabitch!)

 

 

-Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! Jack Thompson is still a dick...

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Makes me wonder what the heck MS's legal jargon is when it comes to custom content on Live.

"

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

10. USER MATERIAL

You may have the opportunity to post, stream or transmit pictures, photographs, game-related materials, music, home video content or other information through PSN to share with the PSN community (“User Material”). We may provide you with content to use in the creation of User Material. User Material created by you will belong to you, although any content provided by us will still belong to us and/or our licensors as explained in Section 7 above.

 

You authorise us, our affiliated companies and other PSN users, to use, distribute, copy, modify, display, and publish your User Material throughout PSN and other associated services.  You also authorise us and our affiliated companies, without payment to you, to license, sell and otherwise commercially exploit your User Material (for example, selling subscriptions to access User Material and/or receiving advertising revenue related to User Material), and to use your User Material in the promotion of PlayStation products and services.  You must not commercially exploit User Material without our consent.  You waive any moral rights you may have in your User Material.  By posting, streaming or transmitting User Material you represent and warrant that you have all rights necessary to use, post, stream and transmit such User Material and to grant the rights set out in this paragraph.

Alright, this makes no sense at all. I highlighted a few points here. First they say that the user creating the content owns it. Then they say that they have all rights to sell use or "commercially exploit" your stuff without your approval. Then they say that you cannot "commercially exploit" your own work without their permission. Finally, they say that you can only send stuff over their service if you own it.

They sure have a funny definition of ownership.

Just by this section alone, I will never be buying a PS3 or LBP. Thanks for solidifying that decision for me Sony.

This reminds me of the Google Chrome situation from before, where Google claimed ownership of everything that was sent or displayed throught their browser.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Huh. So by inserting a hard drive into a PS3 you're signing over all ownership of everything on the drive to Sony.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

"Just by this section alone, I will never be buying a PS3 or LBP."

Oh come on that's way too harsh perhaps those terms aren't final it seems way too contradictory to be that way.

And besides think of the PR disaster that would result if Sony tried any of the things that you suggest. I think Sony's smart enough to realise that screwing over the people that could make your game great isn't a good idea.

----------------------------------------------------

"What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" - Tasmanian devil

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

My decision to never buy a PS3 has been building for a long time. THis is jusdt that final nail so to speak. This is just one more step in that collective arrogance that spews forth from the Sony HQ.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Seems to be a rather biased claim there, EZK.

Everyone is intitled to there opinion, of course, but I am curious as to what has caused you to arrive at this decision.

"

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

I was a Sony fan since the PS1. I owned and still own both an original PS1 and PS2. I loved the games. Both consoles were a great value for their price.

But with the announcement of the PS3 came Sony's arrogance. The decided that their fans would be willing to do anything for Sony. They jacked up the price and when they were confronted by the media on that, they simply said that their fans would be more than willing to work harder to earn the extra money to buy a PS3. Their price effectively priced Sony out of my budget.

Then there was Blu-ray. I could care less about it. I don't own an HD TV. Me and 90% of the US. But for the first 1 1/2 years of the PS3's life, Sony decided to market the PS3 as a Blu-ray player first and games console second. I felt that they did not even care about their games.

Then there was Backward compatability. With the PS2, Sony made a huge deal about BC. It was something no other console had done. You only needed one console to play your whole collection of Sony games. Well tough luck this time around. They decided that one of the core defining features of the last generation was not something that they should care about anymore.

That is some of it. But there is more but I don't have time.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

How can you say they jacked up the price when they lost money on every console sold? I think though that the "it's a blur-ray player" thing was to lure non-gamers. They probably figured that if you were interested in video games you've probably all ready heard of the PS3. Although are you really going to let that affect your decision, it seems so insignificant. And what's wrong with BC? I own a PS3 and it plays PS2 and PS1 games perfectly fine. Heck now I don't need to buy a second PS1 memory card thanks to the PS3. It may not be perfect *cough* library *cough* but I don't think it's as bad as you say it is.

----------------------------------------------------

 "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" - Tasmanian devil

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

THey purposely made an expensive console and sold it for $200 more than their nearest competetor. Regardless of whether they made a profit on it, it was still jacked up more than they could have done.

AS for BC, if you were willing to buy the crap one or the massively expensive one from launch, you got real BC. After that, you have either hit or miss with the software BC or none at all with the latest models. Sure you have PS1 BC with them all, but PS2 is where I have the problem.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

To be fair, unless you got a 60 GB launch PS3 (like me) the BC is rather wonky or non-existant for PS2 games. The PS1 library works fine on all systems though.

Sony pushed Blu-ray because they make a system to last for ten years instead of 5 to 7 like their competetors. The big wigs at Sony figured that people would be needing the bigger storage at that time and pushed for the new content. (They were also the first ones to do it with DVD based discs and got flak for doing that with the PS2 intially as well. What became the standard medium over the next couple of years though.....oh yeah....DVDs)

"

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

The other problem is, what is the creation, besides a mix of art assets made by the developer.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Well, from what I'm aware, you can import pictures into LBP to use as posters/flags/whatever. So, technically, importing these into the game could give Sony rights over your design. Not full rights, naturally, seeing as it was created outside the game, but enough for them to start making profit off of your design. So yes, I think that there is a genuine cause for concern here.

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Joining the Manhunt 2 rush on the 31st!

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

It makes perfect sense. They are saying you "own" your creation but that you can gain nothing from it except bragging rights and that you give them total rights to use/control and to profit from it without any compensation going to you. Your ownership is in name only per say. Think of it as a license within a license. Seems to me should a one sided situation without any good faith negotiation simply would not hold up in court.

-------------------------------------------

"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Just like all the gaming colleges out there.

You can make a really cool video game while in a college (DeVry, Full Sail, etc., etc.) and your name is forever in the credits, however, the school owns the title, the characters, everything.....they  can make money off the title and you will get nothing but the name in the credits.

Where this comes into play, however, is you can claim it as your work. A bragging right to many, but a potential employment factor to others. 

I wouldn't worry about this legalese really causing any major negative harm to anyone, from what I read it simply says that if you make something and distribute it on PSN for free then you don't really have any legal ownership of it and Sony does because you used their network for making your stuff public. Got a problem with it, make a flash game for a website (that will do the exact same thing).

"

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Depends on the Flash site. There are quite a few sites that let you retain ownership of the game and allow you to place it on other sites and pull it anytime you want.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

While that is a valid point, the one I was trying to make is that this is nothing new really. It has been occuring with other companies/colleges for years.

Unless you are personally making a lot of games and placing them on the PSN for download and expecting cash for it, then really this doesn't effect you in any way.

"

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

 I don't see the problem.  Sony have reserved the right to sell the creations (in a 'best of LBP' perhaps) or use them in advertising etc. there's nothing that says they actually will, and nothing to stop you selling them yourself if you really want to.

What happens when the systems game developers build for us are less games than platforms for the creation of new games?

I'd say bring it on.. waiting for the latest generic junk from $BIG_GAMING_COMPANY is getting less and less rewarding by the day.  Look at the stuff that was done with the Doom and Half Life engines... there are people out there capable of creating great content.. they just need the tools.

 

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Actually, I'm fairly certain you can't sell your little big planet stuff, unless sony has done a complete about face from the industry.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

I also doubt people could have sold the content, that would have been very shaky legal ground, but I'm pretty appalled if Sony are saying that they have the right to sell other people's work. It strikes me as being similar (though not identical) to Microsoft saying that any game written using DirectX is theirs because you used their tools to create it.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Judging by the hype leading up to the game's release, they were saying you could sell your levels and such. But looking at the ToS, that is no longer the case.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

But they won't get the recognition for their work. That kind of treatment is going to drive people away from game creation, since many people will not read the entire agreement, and then to suddenly see other people profitting from your work will be extremely disheartening, people are going to be asking themselves 'Why bother?'

It's one thing to make content available free, a'la Creature Creator, it's a whole other ball game to give themselves permission to make money from your time and energy.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

"But they won't get the recognition for their work. That kind of treatment is going to drive people away from game creation, since many people will not read the entire agreement, and then to suddenly see other people profitting from your work will be extremely disheartening, people are going to be asking themselves 'Why bother?'"

Where does it say in the EULA that they don't have to credit you for the work?  It says they don't have to pay you but from what I can tell, it says nothing about credit, nor does it say they can sue you if you try to redistribute the levels yourself for free (a claim made by other posters.)  I don't necessarily think this is the best move for them but its out there now.  If you as a consumer don't like this, don't buy LBP and tell Sony why.  If enough people refuse to buy the game or create content for it because of this, watch how quickly they change their tune.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

While I saw no language in the ToS that would say they will not credit you or don't have to, the video game industry has a long history of not crediting people where credit is due. So I could see it happening.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

"While I saw no language in the ToS that would say they will not credit you or don't have to, the video game industry has a long history of not crediting people where credit is due. So I could see it happening."

Good point but the thing is, this hasn't happened with LBP yet but everyone is acting like it already has.  I personally don't see the point in convicting before the offense has taken place.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

A person winds up for a punch twice and hits both times. The second you see the same motions being used, regardless of who's doing it, you're going to flinch either way out of reflex and for a good reason. Yeah, you shouldn't jump to conclusions, but at the same time, you can't exactly blame people for suspecting the worst.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

I wasn't really trying to accuse them. I was simply stating that it is possible.

I would really like to see this ToS in action before making any solid claims.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Let's just say it makes me nervous.

I'm fine with, for example, someone creating a Mod for Homeworld 2 with Star Wars ships, and them (a) Not being able to sell it, and (b) Having to remove it if either party objects. What I'm really not comfortable with is the concept that the content of a Homeworld 2 Star Wars mod is the property of either Sierra or LucasArts.

 

But you do have a point that it's best not to jump entirely to conclusions, it could just be poorly worded, but it does make me concerned.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Whilst I'll agree there is no direct statement of intent, this is Sony we are talking about here. If the license is owned by Sony, they have no obligation to name the original creator of the content, and will not hesitiate to enforce 'breaches' of that license, as recent events with IP law has proven. Once they have it, you can be certain they will not let go of it and allow the author themselves to distribute. The wording reads as an effective 'selling your soul' as far as any rights to your creation are concerned, the only light at the end of the tunnel is the fact that is includes 'as far as the law allows', which in the UK, at least, is not very far at all.

As an example, the Freespace license is owned by Interplay, however, the development team, Volition, now work for THQ. If Volition wrote another Freespace game without Interplay's consent, or if THQ had tried to sell Freespace 2, they would be open to legal action from Interplay, despite the fact they created the first two games and developed the entire series, same kind situation applies here. Fortunately, GoG have bought distribution rights of some description from Interplay anyway, but, this is purely for example purposes.

I, as a consumer, don't like this, and won't be buying the game.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Whoooops, there goes about 50% of their fan base...

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

if sony dares do that.....

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

Well, this sucks hard...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

I think its just so they can use the user-generated contents in videos/commercials to show off the power of their creation tools. I doubt they'd start selling people's levels.

Re: Who Owns Your Little Big Planet Creations? (Hint: probably

If it were purely using the material for promotion, they wouldn't require the rights to license or sell it, this is purely about having other people write their content for them. It'd be like the Caeser 4 developers trying to sell user-created maps in an extension pack without asking permission, or rewarding the creators of those maps. In fact, if the original authors tried to make those levels available themselves, they would be open to being sued by the developers.

That is wrong on so many levels.

 
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Zenhttp://www.gonintendo.com/s/235574-treyarch-isn-t-working-call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-for-wii-u-either08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
ZenLet me send the link for the Tweet as well...they state Treyarch is not working on it. Grabbing it now.08/20/2014 - 4:34pm
 

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