Minecraft, indie sensation and Winner of Game Rant's Most Innovative of 2010 award, has just been announced for the iPhone and iPad. Markus Persson, founder of Swedish studio Mojang, stated that gamers can expect official versions on iOS platforms later this year.
The ports are being developed by new Mojang recruit, Aron Neiminen. While Minecraft continues to see numerous updates on the PC and Mac, Persson stated that the iOS versions won't receive all of the same updates, but will receive features that fit the touch-screen platform. Minecraft reportedly has numerous unofficial releases on iPhone and iPad, but this will be the first official iOS release.
Minecraft has transcended mere gaming popularity, becoming a type of social platform and form of expression for gamers. The Dead Island trailer was recreated with the Minecraft engine. The lofty engine behind Minecraft has also allowed for numerous game "makeovers." Game Rant has featured two such games: Minecraft Predator and Halocraft. Hackers eager to expand Kinect's meager beginnings exploited the motion device further by implementing a unique Minecraft character-building hack, scanning in images and overlaying them with its signature block style.
Having an official port of Minecraft on portable devices means the creativity that Minecraft inspires won't cease when players have to leave their desks, though the news that not all of the updates from the browser/downloadable version will be issued for the mobile versions is a disappointment. It remains to be seen if players will sorely miss whatever content or capabilities do not make it to the official iOS version.
With last year's enormous sales of Android-based smartphones, one has to question why any developer would remain exclusive to the iOS platform without any financial coaxing. The Minecraft ports shouldn't stop at portable devices; many a Game Rant staff member would like to see an XBLA/PSN port, as well.
Financial dramatics aside, what do you think of an official, portable Minecraft? What other platforms would you like to see the game released for?
[Update] It looks like Minecraft will be making its way to Android as well. Kotaku received confirmation from Mojang that they are also developing Minecraft for Android in-house, and it will hold the same timeline as iOS of "later this year".