Minecraft is expected to go "retail" this November, although it won't be much different than what's offered during prior weeks.
Minecraft creator Markus "notch" Persson said on Thursday that his highly-popular sandbox building game will finally drop its beta tag in November. The news arrives just after Persson said current revenue had reached $33 million after taxes and PayPal's transaction fees. That's certainly quite a sum given the game isn't out of beta and still doesn't charge the full premium pricetag.
During a recent board meeting, Persson and the rest of Mojang decided it was time to set a date for the final "retail" version. But he also admitted it won't be much different than what will be released in prior weeks. Instead, dropping the "beta" tag will be more of a milestone for the team, giving them a set goal to reach.
"The plan is to be open with this and try to get people to cheer us on as much as possible, but to be open with the fact that the game won’t change much at the actual release day," Persson said in his blog. "It’s more a progress up until that point. We picked November 11, with the unofficial tagline 'us too.' It’s the same date as a few other games and movies, and the one I’m the most excited about is Skyrim, so that will be a nice reward for me if we actually manage to hit that date!"
Persson also gave a status on the game's progression, saying the team had been working on completing Achievements and Statistics features for v1.5. But Persson ran into some issues with JSON, got frustrated, and decided to work on weather effects instead.
"Developing new features like that is what I enjoy doing the most, so I ended up covering a lot of ground," he said. "There’s periodic downfall (snow in snowy areas, rain in others, nothing in deserts) that make the sky darker, hides the sun, moon and stars, and makes everything wet. Ice grows back in cold regions, and snowfall covers the ground when it’s snowing. During rain/snow, there can be occasional thunderstorms with lightning. I haven’t finished the actual lightning bolt yet, but everything else is fairly done."
To read the entire update, check out Persson's blog here. Interested gamers curious about the Minecraft phenomenon can play the "demo" here. It's an old, browser-based version, but players can get a taste and even save their creative progress locally on their hard drive.
As listed on the website, the "full" version will sell for €20.00 when it launches on 11.11.11. Those who purchase the game now will only pay €14.95. And yes, in the image above, I wrote "Tom's" with blue/green wool and 1/2 stone blocks (I stand corrected heh) using the demo (classic) version.