Minecraft enters beta stage on December 20

Minecraft, the popular survival-based building game, will move from its "alpha" title to "beta" on 20 December 2010. The game has been on sale at half price in the alpha stage since the project was started in May 2009, and has gained approval of gamers all over.

The concept of Minecraft is simple: Go out and get resources from the Earth by digging, mining, or farming for use in building a home and protection from the enemies in the game. Creepers, zombies, and Skeletons all pose threats to the player, so while they are building their new society using textured cubes in a three-dimensional world, they must also look out for these potential enemies in this dynamically generated space.

In addition to a single player mode, there was a multiplayer mode that allowed many users to come together and build structures with other players. This was notoriously known for being incredibly buggy, as the enemies couldn't hurt the player, mining carts didn't work, and neither did the wiring system which would allow use for intricate networks.

Notch, the creator of Minecraft, posted on his Tumblr the future plans for the highly-addicting building game. The focus will mainly be on polish and content of the game, and there will be massive work in adding a proper modding API that is stable. In addition, they also want to 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." Notch also says there will be a much larger focus on testing and stability with each update. Full online multiplayer support and stability is also high up on the list of improvements that Notch will be making.

When the game enters the beta state, the price will raise to 14.95 Euro and their lifetime of free updates will disappear. Purchasing during the alpha stage, which can still be done until December 20, allows for users to gain free updates to the game for life, as somewhat of a thank you gift for adopting so early on. For those who purchase after December 20, they will receive all updates for free up until the official release.

Notch also mentions that there will be Minecraft gift codes going on sale, just in time for the holiday season. Any gift code purchased before December 20 will be treated as an alpha account and will be eligible for free updates for life. 

Image credit: funcoast.com

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30 Comments

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Minecraft's online multiplayer has stable for months? It may lack a few of the single player features but has been working perfectly fine for me since way back when.

Bag said,
Minecraft's online multiplayer has stable for months? It may lack a few of the single player features but has been working perfectly fine for me since way back when.

Seconded. Alpha multiplayer isn't yet officially supported, but the only problems and glitches I've run into have been few and far between. That and the odd memory leak for the server hosting software causing a bit of lag every now and then. Otherwise, it's great. I think this is down to poor wording:

In addition to a single player mode, there was a multiplayer mode that allowed many users to come together and build structures with other players. This was notoriously...

The writer references mp as though it no longer exists. The statement in the article is true, but no-where is there a reference to say now the mp is quite stable.

Baked said,
Is there a free demo ? Wouldn't mind trying it out etc
Yes, Minecraft Classic (basically an older version) is free.

green_link said,
"When the game enters the beta state, the price will raise to 14.95 Euro and their lifetime of free updates will disappear."

thats not true. notch said, via twitter (http://twitter.com/notch/status/13684409446174722) "If you buy the game, regardless of when, you never have to pay again to get the full version."

Yes but not free updates to the game. So if he releases DLC Beta people will have to be it.

Fritzly said,
This is new: paying for software in Alpha stage.......
Think of it more as paying for a game and getting access to it during the Alpha stage. Those who pay now will get the full game upon release.

No different then pre-ordering a game except you get to play it in its early stages.

Fritzly said,
This is new: paying for software in Alpha stage.......

It isn't alpha like you think. If you played the game you'd know. Alpha means that it's not feature complete, not buggy at least with Minecraft. The game is very stable.

Fritzly said,
This is new: paying for software in Alpha stage.......

Where have you been the last 10 years? It's called preorder and getting early access to alpha/beta; gamestop does this all the time.

Fritzly said,
This is new: paying for software in Alpha stage.......

That's what I thought until I saw Windows Phone 7 lol.

Detective said,
How much will the retail price be?

You don't need a math degree to work it out....
The original article said,
The game has been on sale at half price in the alpha stage...

So, multiply the current price by 2 perhaps?

TCLN Ryster said,

You don't need a math degree to work it out....

So, multiply the current price by 2 perhaps?


I overlooked that information. Thank you for pointing it out.

Anyway, there was no way of figuring it out from the article; it doesn't mention the price before the recent increase.

Sales dropped significantly after the initial rush, but sustainable sales isn't that important if he's going SPRINT development, he'll be able to do lots of small games, and from reading his blog and twitter, he's at no shortage for interesting game concepts.

AgentGray said,
Sales dropped significantly after the initial rush, but sustainable sales isn't that important if he's going SPRINT development, he'll be able to do lots of small games, and from reading his blog and twitter, he's at no shortage for interesting game concepts.

I wouldn't say sales dropped significantly.
"In the last 24 hours, 19823 people registered, and 8581 people bought the game."
It has pretty consistently increased over time, I remember back when it wasn't even selling 1000 a day.

I'm curious to see if these amazing sales levels maintain throughout the course of development! I've already got my alpha key anyway