Q. When I kind of look around on Xbox or PC, or any platform, really, there's a lot of games which are kind of inspired by Minecraft. There are some games which are arguably kind of clones of Minecraft. Where do you draw the line between those things? Where do you think the--when does it become something which I guess is a direct ripoff of Minecraft?(This can be seen on twitch.tv starting at 5:15:20 (5 hours 15 minutes and 20 seconds) in to the day's stream. Any transcription errors are mine.)
A. I don't really mind direct ripoffs either. I think if you start to use the name or imply that it is Minecraft and things like that then it's, then it's wrong because we need to protect our product. But if you take the game ideas or the look and stuff like that without taking the exact textures, then I think that's cool.
Some of them, maybe, they get a little bit, eh, confident and start [garbled] saying that the game is better than Minecraft and trying to justify cloning it. And that's when you get into a weird area. I think just saying 'Yeah, I cloned that game because it's an awesome idea and I want to make one.' Then yeah, go ahead and make it. That's how games and all products get better. You get inspired by someone else and do your own take on it.
Two years ago I wrote A statement on Minecraft mods copying features from each other. What Notch said at Minecon echoes what I wrote.
My other Minecon 2013 coverage:
Text of Jeb's slides from The Future of Minecraft panel at Minecon 2013