Saturday, December 11, 2010

MINECRAFT TO GO BETA DEC 20TH! Happy Birthday to Me!

Looks like I'll be getting a nice birthday present this year in the way of the minecraft beta release!  Here is the info from the word of notch:

The next epoch is upon us! The skies are trembling, pigs are growing wings, and the nether is turning awfully cold, as Minecraft slowly crawls out of Alpha..
Minecraft will reach Beta status on December 20th, 2010.
With Beta comes a larger focus on polish and content, and we’ll start early on with adding proper modding support with a stable API, and we’d love all input we can get on this from the modders out there. We’ll also add some kind of non-intrusive narrative to the game to help drive the game experience early on, and to provide some kind of late game goal. There will be a bigger focus on testing and stability as well, with more time between updates.
When the game enters beta, the price will rise to 14.95 Euro.

We will also change the license to remove the line that promises all future versions of the game for free. Please note that this change only affects people who buy the game after December 20, so if you got the game for during alpha, you will still get all future updates for free, despite this change. A promise is a promise.

Buying the game during beta will include all updates up until release, of course, and bug patches will be free.
Soon, you will be able to buy gift codes for Minecraft, perfectly timed for the holidays! Even better, if you buy those before December 20, accounts created from these codes will count as alpha accounts, and will receive all future updates for free.

And the next game update (with server-side inventory) is coming next week, before Beta

As always with a release from notch it seems some people are never happy or misunderstand things because of translation, but if you notice there are some pretty big changes in regards to a few items.  One the price appears to be only slightly increased instead of the doubling that's always been the plan according to the minecraft site, which is certainly a good thing.  Second the removal, for beta users and beyond, the promise of all future updates and releases which is the direct result of "the board and lawyers" advising against according to notch's twitter feed.  While understandable is always sad, considering how bad "boards and lawyers" always seem to f'up "good things" because boards and lawyers are only in it for the money and not as notch put it early on making a game that he likes to play first and foremost.   There is mention of expansions and updates possibly costing, from notch's twitter feed again , somewhat like other game models out there, another thing i'm sure the "board" is pushing for, which is kind of sad if Notch goes the route of "itemization" of items and gear, i.e., buy his exclusive colored diamond pick for 9.99 euros, and/or "expansionification", i.e.,buy version 3.2 which only allows for elite players to create micro-biomes and build into space!
Personally I think if he just keep updating the game, ala valve with teamfortress 2 and their dlc, and charged 9.99 euro for the game he would continue to make money hand over fist from new players and he would get more eyes on the other games he wants to make and develop and would certainly buy, somewhat like the Angry Birds model. But if he goes the route of a game say "lord of ultima" and tries to charge you to "speed building up" or similar gimicks then minecraft will fade away and will only be played by we who purchased the alpha, and then for only a limited time as eventually it would get "old", or until the next new indie "shiny" game would strike our fancy.
Don't get me wrong I currently love the game and having a blast playing with friends but i'm just having a sinking feeling of how this game might end up as a "webkinz" style of "game" rather that the innovation it has been.
Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!

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