When Mojang announced that they would be bringing Minecraft to the iPhone and iPad later this year, the collective attention of the mobile market turned to the possibility of creating entire digital worlds while on the go. Now Minecraft's creator has clarified that while the game will be making an official move to the iOS, people should consider the title to be more of a "spin-off" than a port of the entire game.
Minecraft's creator Markus Persson, a.k.a. Notch recently confirmed to PC Gamer that while his smash success may have taken off in a short amount of time, development on the iPhone and iPad versions of Minecraft are proceeding slowly. With development duties set to be handed to an outside studio, Notch could only say that the game players will experience on their Apple devices will be noticeably different from the PC version they've grown accustomed to.
There's no need to panic though, as Notch explained that any changes made will only make the game a smoother experience.
Even though Minecraft for the iOS won't be developed by the same team that brought us the most innovative game of 2010, Notch is making sure that the same sensibilities and creativity will be fueling the production, not a simple desire for more sales.
Although a simple port may satisfy fans of the original title and curious mobile gamers, Notch wants the game to be tailor-made for the platform:
“We know we’re going to do it and vaguely how we could do it. One of our focuses is we just don’t port the game over and say “Hey this is Minecraft”, but to make something that makes sense for that platform. There are a bunch of different ways to do that; the ability to look down on your levels or have a different version of the game that makes sense [to the iOS platform] where you don’t have to avoid dangerously fast arrows. You won’t be able to play that on the subway!”
It's hard to blame Mojang for turning development of the mobile incarnation of their hit title to another team, since they have their hands full at the moment. Considering Minecraft's ongoing update process, and the recent announcement of their next game Scrolls, the next few years are already looking to get busier and busier.
In a perfect world, Notch would develop Minecraft for the iOS from the ground-up in much the same way as the original game. If these recent details have you concerned that the iOS product may be a different type of game altogether, you're not wrong.
Notch explained that they may not have a concrete plan for the game's development, but it's already clear that bringing Minecraft to the iOS in its entirety is simply impossible:
“It’s more of a spin-off of Minecraft the more I think of it. That’s about as far as we’ve got. We’ve had a couple of companies approach us to show us how it could be done but we haven’t written a single line of code yet.”
And just like that, Minecraft has moved from an innovative PC experience to its own franchise. There's no shortage of developers who strike gold with a surprise property, only to have their follow-up efforts fail to ever meet the same level of acceptance. But Mojang has truly struck a chord with the gaming community by giving players the ability to create their own narratives and mini-games from the comfort of their own homes, and still have big plans for the future.
Notch has voiced his support for bringing Minecraft to consoles, and has caught the attention of documentary filmmakers seeking to better understand the man behind the masterpiece. We don't know what Mojang's future holds, but it seems that the odds are stacked in their favor.
What do you think of the idea of a Minecraft game made specifically for the iPad or iPhone? There are certainly weaknesses and strengths that could be avoided or improved upon with a re-design, but how much of the unique experience of the original game do you think might be lost?
We'll bring you more news on potential developers and details as it comes, but for now it seems that we can expect a very different Minecraft on the iOS later this year.
Source: PC Gamer