Man, by the time Minecraft is actually a release game, I think everyone will already have a copy.
For those of you unaware of the whole development schedule games tend to run on, “Alpha” means “really shit version that we use to just basically make sure things are up and running”. It’s the earliest playable build of a game, and it usually ends up being used exclusively by Quality Assurance drones running it ten thousand times to check for bugs. Minecraft was released in the Alpha stage a little while ago because while it was kind of sparse in terms of content, the actual underpinnings were already pretty bug-free by that point. Plus, it’s a super easy way to drum up interest and get an idea of the potential audience. Also, a good way to make a cool couple million.
But now, the developer has stated that they’re boldly stepping into Phase 2 of Operation Everyone Check Out This Sweet Game: the beta! The beta should have far more of the features that are supposed to be in the final release of the game, both in terms of content and features. Hopefully it will remain reasonably bug-free.
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.
It’s going to cost a bit more, but you’ll get access to all versions up to the release if you buy after December 20th. Although, if you’re smart, you’ll just buy a copy right now for the lower price, because you’ll be granted access to every future version of the game, which at this point seems like it may be a lot!