Minecraft's devs exit its 7 million-strong subreddit after Reddit's ham-fisted crackdown on protest

Minecraft 1.18 key art
(Image credit: Mojang)

If you want official updates from the Minecraft dev team, you better not look on Reddit. A post from a Reddit user bearing the name sliced_lime and a flair indicating they are the Minecraft Java Tech Lead (almost certainly Mojang's Mikael Hedberg) announced yesterday that Mojang would no longer be posting official content to Reddit, in the wake of that platform's response to protests over changes to its API.

"As you have no doubt heard by now, Reddit management introduced changes recently that have led to rule and moderation changes across many subreddits," read the post, before announcing that those changes have led Mojang to "no longer feel that Reddit is an appropriate place to post official content or refer [its] players to".

So Long, and Thanks for All the Feedback from r/Minecraft

The events are only obliquely referred to in the post, but it seems the move has been sparked by Reddit's crackdown on protests against recent changes to its API that would, in essence, kill off third-party apps that let users access the site. 

Subreddit mods have spent the last few weeks mounting various campaigns against Reddit's corporate leadership, either "going dark" by turning the subreddits they oversee into private, invite-only communities or else marking them as NSFW, meaning Reddit can't sell ads on those pages. Reddit responded by pressuring disgruntled mods, and in some cases ousting and trying to replace them.

In practice, the biggest impact of this departure will be the end of the subreddit's official changelog threads, where the subreddit's 7.4 million Minecraft fans and players can pore over official updates in granular detail and offer their feedback directly to the devs who hang out there. Sliced_lime emphasises that players are, naturally, "welcome to post unofficial update threads going forward," and can always "visit [Mojang's] feedback site at feedback.minecraft.net" or else contact it via social media.

User reaction has been pretty understanding, which probably only highlights just how angry everyone is with Reddit's leadership right now. The top-voted comment on sliced_lime's post, from DamageBooster, just says "Understandable" before asking where else users can access official changelogs.

Still, even if there are other avenues to reach Mojang, it seems fairly dramatic for a game as incomprehensibly massive and significant as Minecraft to cut off Reddit as one of its official ports of call. It's reminiscent of advertisers fleeing Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk's messy assumption of leadership at that company. Time will tell if Reddit's leadership will take any notice, though (I can't say I'm optimistic).

PC Gamer can confirm that Microsoft doesn't have an official policy regarding its studios' use of Reddit, so this is likely a one-off unless another dev team personally chooses to follow Mojang's example. There's no sign of that happening so far, but who knows? Perhaps this will inspire something, and Microsoft will have to take some time off fighting multiple national market regulators at once to direct its ire at Reddit executives. If that doesn't get their attention, nothing will.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.