Quitting Minecraft: Was it worth it?
I quit Minecraft server development 6 months ago, precisely on October 5th of 2021; but how do I feel about it now that it’s been 6 months? Was it worth it?
To get the full story, we have to go back to late 2016 when I originally quit Minecraft development with the end of my last survival server, 1337Survival. 1337Survival was one of the first servers to introduce custom content such as mobs, items, and never-before-seen gameplay mechanics. But its life was rather short-lived. The server had severe structural issues which lead to its world corrupting nearly every day. Exhausted, I gave up and closed it down. The collapse of 1337Survival gave me a harsh realization: that I was not having fun working on Minecraft anymore. At the time, Minecraft was starting to be considered a dead game. Numbers were plummeting, Microsoft bought it (yikes), and not much was happening with the game. There was a big sense of “insecurity” in the community for a long time. People were starting to wonder whether its bubble finally burst.
So with all considered, I quit. I put 1337Survival to rest and posted the following:
I believe this is a fair goodbye, at least to servers. They never turn out how I perceive them to. Now, you may be thinking, "But you've been doing this for so long!". What I have to say to that is that I am well aware that I have, and we've been through so many adventures together through them, and so many chapters, but there are not unlimited chapters to a book. There is always a chance for sequels though. Servers on different games eh? We'll see. Only time can tell, am I wrong?
And I really was done. I stopped playing entirely and moved on with my life. Tried new things such as Rust & Garry’s Mod (which were really fun, by the way).
Fast forward to 2019 and Minecraft starts to grow again. I never thought my interest would be back again, but it was, and long story short, I reconnected with an old player of mine through a CaptainSparklez YouTube video and found out he was working on a server. I offered my help and guidance and there was the birth of NebulaMC.
I worked on NebulaMC for 2 years until I quit again this October. But why? Well - this time it’s not quite about losing interest in the game. In fact I’d argue that Minecraft is in the best state it’s ever been in. What it really comes down to is the disgusting evolution of Minecraft’s server industry. I talked about my concerns with this in my previous post here. In the old days, a servers’ success was determined by its community. Today, a servers’ success is determined by its revenue. There’s been an undeniable change in what works and what doesn’t these days. Want your server to expand in 2014? Encourage players to vote or host a contest/event for your community. Want your server to expand today? Make a giveaway and harass thousands of innocent kids to join for a fake reward. The industry went from being about having fun with others to milking kids of their hard-earned money. As I said in Intentions Matter, corporate greed ruined Minecraft servers and will continue to unless changes are made or Mojang starts to enforce its EULA.
So that’s why I quit, but not quite… what I didn’t say in October was that I really just wanted to focus on my mental health. 2021 was without a doubt the hardest year of my life. Just about everything went wrong. I left my job, I couldn’t do my senior year of high school in person, and just about the only thing I had keeping me going were my parents. I was isolated, stuck drowning in my own self-corrupting thoughts until I burst. Towards the end of 2021, my mental health only got worse. I got a job through a friend in July and they later betrayed me for their own benefit. Along came my first semester of college as a full-time student (this time in person), and before I knew it my life became too much to handle. I was working 60 hours of the week (including my time in college), and also had to manage Nebula full-time in my off time. With the state of my mental health, I could no longer think rationally, I completely lost myself. So I broke in October and decided to finally quit with a video and document saying farewell once and for all.
This was extremely, extremely hard to do. In a sense it felt like my Minecraft community was the last thing I had left keeping me going, but on the other hand it was exhausting keeping thousands of players happy on top of my regular daily life. Pressing enter to say goodbye to Minecraft leaving a 9 year legacy behind me was nerve racking, I was quite literally shaking and breaking down behind the screen.
But I don’t regret it. Looking back 6 months later I can really say I’m back in a comfortable state and I don’t think it would’ve been possible without letting go. I spent loads of time working on myself and finally found the light at the end of the tunnel.
Now the obvious elephant in the room is where to go from here? I’ll leave it as I did in 2016:
There is always a chance for sequels.