It’s been a long road for indie developer Markus Persso, and after months and months of virtually weekly updates the alpha build of the popular game Minecraft is about to evolve into beta.

Known as ‘Notch’ to his fans, Markus has been implementing and fixing multiplayer aspects of the game for the past month. As he promised to fans earlier, when he was happy with a stable multiplayer build they would officially begin their beta phase. True to his word, the December 20th update will mark said occasion and launch the official Minecraft Beta.

With the update comes not just a focus on shiny new features rather than bug fixes, but a change to the pricing scheme as well: buying the game will now cost 14.95 euros, and people who purchase the beta aren’t purchasing rights to the full. They’ll have to repurchase the game upon full release. However, those who purchased the Alpha build – which is still up until December 20th – get all future updates free, which includes both beta and final release.

Notch has been toying with several ideas of late – he occasionally tweets about random things like adding capes, cake and game modes akin to Left 4 Dead, so players are excited to see what he and a recently hired team of employees can cook up. Updates will also be more spread out than the helter-skelter schedule of late, in which there was never a predictable pattern.

The last few odds-and-ends of the upcoming beta phase are summarized nicely by Notch himself:

“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.”

With over 700,000 players of the game, the forums are already flaring with people wondering what will be implemented first. What do you think about the upcoming Minecraft beta phase? Are you excited? Tell us your thoughts!

Source: The Word of Notch

tags: Mac, Minecraft, PC

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