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Minecraft MOD CivCraft goes standalone - The Microsoft effect

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The popular Minecraft Modification (MOD), CivCraft, has been renamed to Praxis and is going standalone. The announcement was made by [Redacted] Games only one day after the acquisition of Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, by Microsoft was confirmed.

Although this is the first MOD to move away from Minecraft after the Microsoft acquisition, I believe [Redacted] Games is only the first in a long line of MOD developers to run away from the new Microsoft’s Minecraft.

Praxis announcement

CivCraft has been around for more than 4 years. The MOD was built on an amazing concept, where players collaborate in an effort to build a powerful civilization, with many of the elements which define Sid Meier’s Civilization series intact. Players research for better technology and materials. They also carefully lay out their city, all done in a first-person perspective with a focus on multiplayer.

Praxis is CivCraft renamed and is being done as a standalone game instead of a Minecraft MOD. [Redacted] Games explain on their Reddit announcement why they have moved away from Minecraft and is developing the standalone:

From the day Civcraft started, it was already too big. The core tenets behind Civcraft are so far-reaching and ambitious that anything less than a bespoke platform developed with those pillars in constant focus would do the idea, the thing that draws so many of us to this particular flame, a severe injustice.

Since the very beginning we’ve been fighting with limits and deconstructions, trying to wrestle an engine designed for other purposes into a mould that fits our all-reaching, never-faulting idea… an idea that has engaged thousands of people over the past 4 years, touching lives, creating stories, and exploring sociological territory barely before graced by the medium of gaming.

So we asked ourselves: What could that idea do if it was unshackled, and delivered to the end users via a bespoke engine entirely developed for the purposes of the deployment of this singular experience? And how can we best monetize it prior to the inevitable $2.5b Microsoft buyout?” - Source

Praxis sounds like an amazing idea and with an engine built from the ground up coupled with the fact that CivCraft has been around for four years, there is very little doubt left in my mind that the game will be a huge success when it is released.

[Redacted] Games further states:  

Praxis is something that we’re all very passionate about, and we hope that shows in our cautious and curated approach. As the core of what Praxis is solidifies, development will open up a lot more, with the end goal being the vast inclusion of user-influenced direction and user-driven content. For now we’re still putting those structures into place, and we’re genuinely excited to show you more of what we’ve been working on once it’s ready.” - Source

Unfortunately, at the time of writing there are no screenshots or videos available of Praxis and the new engine it is using. Furthermore, there is no indication if CivCraft’s development will continue in Minecraft, yet I believe [Redacted] Games is only the first in a string of developers that will move away from Minecraft into standalone development.

More Minecraft MOD developers will likely follow suit

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From the announcement it is clear that [Redacted] Games are a very passionate group of indie developers who want the best for their project and their vision sounds amazing. However, the last line, where they mention how they could best monetize Praxis prior to the Microsoft buyout is worrying and could become a trend in the next couple of months.  

For me, Minecraft is the single most important game in terms of modability and community involvement. This is why Microsoft having bought Minecraft was such a huge shock to me when it was first rumored and confirmed yesterday.

Microsoft has, in my opinion, always been a closed company in terms of community involvement and development. MOD support has historically never seem to be one of their top priorities, leading me to believe that at least some of the biggest MOD developers of Minecraft will follow suit and go standalone if they have the resources to do so.

Closing Thoughts

Praxis in itself sounds like it could be an amazing game and I will surely try it out when it is finally released. However, the move away from Minecraft and the uncertain future of the highly popular MOD CivCraft does not bode well for the future of the Minecraft community.

It is, in my opinion, not a coincidence that Praxis was announced only one day after the acquisition of Minecraft by Microsoft was confirmed. For the sake of the Minecraft community, I hope I am wrong and that developers will continue creating superb MODs for Minecraft, yet this is highly likely to be the start of a movement away from the game.

How much of an impact do you think the Microsoft acquisition of Mojang had on Praxis being announced today? Do you think more developers will follow suit and leave Minecraft to go standalone? Which are you favorite Minecraft MODs? Do you think Microsoft is the right place for the game? Let us know in the comment section below.

Sources: Reddit

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