Over the past week a few game companies publicly denounced Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), but now two companies are shutting down their services on Janurary 18 in protest of SOPA. Mojang (creators of Minecraft) and Red 5 Studios (creators of Firefall) will both be shutting down their games protesting SOPA. Going even further, Red 5 Studios will not be attending this year’s E3 unless the ESA reverses its stand on SOPA.
Mojang studio head Mark Persson twetted a few hours ago:
“Decided. We’ll silently take downhttp://minecraft.net andhttp://mojang.com on the 18th in protest of SOPA.”
Mojang is joining Red 5 Studios in protesting SOPA by shutting down their web-based titles. Red 5 Studios CEO Mark Kern had this to say yesterday on Shacknews:
“Red 5 Studios is joining Reddit in protest of SOPA by going dark on January 18. We will be taking down our website, community site and Firefall beta for 24 hours on the 18th.
We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation. We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry.
This bill, and it’s sister bill, Protect IP, will shut down live streaming, shout casting, user generated content and have a chilling effect on game innovation and social media.
Most of all, it hurts the smaller game companies, who will not have the legal resources or lobbying presence to protect themselves from unwarranted shutdown.
We issue a call to all our industry peers, including developers, publishers and game press, to join us in letting the ESA know they do not represent our views on this issue, and strongly oppose SOPA and PIPA.”
While those who have the downloaded version of Minecraft can still access the game, all of Mojang and Red 5 Studios web content will shut down on Jan. 18. No word on how long Mojang will be shutting down for, but I assume it would be just for the day.
The more interesting portion of this is Red 5 Studios protest of E3 2012. Already this year’s E3 is set to be bigger than last year’s, but if the ESA continues to support SOPA it will be interesting to see if more and more companies will follow Red 5′s protest of the industry’s largest event. This has all happened within the last few days and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about it leading up to the shut down day. We’ll keep you posted on this SOPA protest whenever we get any new information.