Why not, indeed! So here are some answers to your questions, from Mojang CEO Carl Manneh!
- Will this service limit you to only allowing people to reach your server if they are in your area?
- Anyone who the server 'owner' white lists can join your server, from anywhere in the world. Obviously you'll get better performance if you are geographically closer to the actual server.
Will it allow you to add plugins?
- Starting out it will be vanilla Minecraft only, but as our API matures and Realms is further developed, some sort of plugin connection may be possible.
Will players have something like FTP access, to upload worlds, mods, and manage server settings?
- Yes there will be a settings panel for the server owner. It will be quite limited from the beginning, but will be built out as the service develops.
Is this service aiming to replace third-party hosting?
- No. We will not be able to provide all the options and features third-party hosting provides, so there will definitely be a need for third party hosting.
There you have it, even more goodies on the upcoming Realms service! A big "thank you" to Carl for giving us some insight into Realms, and answering users' questions directly!