Over two years ago, a part-time game developer named Marcus "Notch" Persson released the first PC alpha version of Minecraft. Now, four million in unit sales later, the 1.0 version of the hit sandbox adventure game is now finally available via an automatic download update for previous Minecraft owners. The official launch was made today during Minecon in Las Vegas. "Notch" also posted the news on his Twitter page. It also means that the game is now being sold at full price for the first time after being discounted by 50 percent for its alpha version and 25 percent when it was in beta.
Minecraft has changed a lot since that first alpha release. The game was designed at first to just be a way for players to construct pretty much anything they wanted in its virtual world. Players who wanted more of a challenge could play in Survival mode that allowed certain creatures to attack the player along with other dangers. Later versions moved the game into a beta state and added more gameplay modes, including some RPG features.
Even though Minecraft has reached the long awaited 1.0 version, "Notch" and the development team at Mojang have promised to continue to update and add onto the game. That includes the long awaited mod tools.
Minecraft has since expanded its reach beyond the PC with versions of the game now available for both the Android and iOS platforms. It's next target is the Xbox 360 console. While that version isn't due for release until the spring of 2012 the first trailer for the Xbox 360 port can be seen in the video below, complete with the official Xbox 360 logo at the end. It's a rather goofy affair with "Notch" and the rest of the Mojang team ohhing and ahhing over the look of the console versions.
In the meantime the PC version still continues to sell at a rate of between 7,000 and 10,000 copies a day. Any way you look at it, that's a lot of revenue for a game that's technically two years old.