Minecraft users here? If you are using the Java version of Minecraft, then you will have to start using a Microsoft Account soon as Mojang announced this month that all versions of Minecraft will only work with Microsoft Accounts going forward.
Microsoft acquired Minecraft maker Mojang in 2014 for $2.5 billion. Up until now, users of the Minecraft Java version could use a Mojang account to access the game. Starting in 2021, that won’t be possible anymore as support for any account system other than Microsoft Account is dropped by Minecraft.
There are two main Minecraft versions: the Java edition and the so-called Bedrock edition (available for consoles and from Microsoft Store). While accounts are migrated, cross-play between Java and Bedrock editions is still not supported after the migration.
Mojang cites security reasons and other benefits for enforcing the new account system on all Minecraft users. Microsoft Accounts do support additional security features such as two-factor authentication, something which Mojang accounts don’t. Other benefits mentioned in the announcement are that all Minecraft games — there are two currently Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons — are linked to the same account, improved parental controls, and chat and invitation blocking.
All users who have a Mojang account or a legacy Minecraft account from the years 2010 to 2012 will have to migrate to a Microsoft account to continue playing the Java edition of the game.
According to Mojang, there are no plans to retire the Java edition of Minecraft; the Java edition will remain the same and continues to be supported. The Java edition of Minecraft, opposed to the Microsoft Store edition, has better Mods support and is therefore preferred by many players of the game.
Migration consists of five easy steps according to Mojang:
- Wait for the migration announcement to be displayed, and click on the announcement.
- Sign-in to an existing Microsoft account or create a new one.
- Set up an Xbox profile (even if there is no Xbox in the household).
- Confirm the migration.
All data and information is migrated according to Mojang; this includes the Java Edition username among other things. Minecraft players who use multiple Mojang accounts need to migrate each of the accounts to a unique Microsoft account. A new “account switching functionality” of the Minecraft launcher helps players “manage multiple accounts and play sessions”.
Minecraft players can check out the FAQ for additional information.
Migrating accounts makes a lot of sense from Microsoft’s perspective as only one account system needs to be maintained by the company after the migration completes. While some Minecraft players may have hoped for the introduction of additional security features for Mojang accounts, it is likely more cost-effective to switch to Microsoft accounts instead.
There is certainly uproar in the community about the upcoming change, but it remains to be seen if that is going to lead to a player exodus in the end, as Minecraft cannot be played anymore without a Microsoft account from 2021 onward.