Minecraft is top-selling game of all-time, and now that its creator, Notch, is outbidding Jay-Z on millionaire homes and Telltale is producing a story-based experience within the block-based world, it seems like the title itself is also due for an update - though not the kind fans were expecting. An oft-requested Minecraft feature has been for the simple ability for players to change their in-game names, which have always been locked to their formal account name. This week, Mojang announced that users will finally be able to change their names, though it does come with some strings attached.
Fans can change their in-game names by going over to their Mojang Account page, where they'll see the option to change their in-game name when the feature becomes available on February 4th. To prevent duplicates and imposters, players won't be able to grab in-game names that are already in-use. If that person changes their name, a cooldown period of 37 days begins on the name, after which it'll be up for grabs. This way, there won't be ten thousand Notch characters promising to give out virtual capes for cash.
It should also be noted that players can only change their names once a month, so users can't jokingly keep switching their names to confuse friends. This grace period ensures that if a player changes their name and doesn't like it, they have the right to change their name back to what it originally was after 30 days - a week before the name would become publicly available.
The feature will make plenty of fans happy, especially if their full username features a lot of ugly numbers. Of course, the update will only apply to those playing from PC and Mac, as the console editions of the game simply utilize gamertags and PSN IDs to show the in-game names.
The latest Minecraft update came out in November, and it's clear that Microsoft - who bought out the franchise three months ago for a cool $2,500,000,000 - are still figuring out what to do with the creative builder. There hasn't been an official announcement of any upcoming updates aside of the in-game name system changes, so hopefully Jeb and the development crew at Mojang have something cooking up for 2015 - especially considering they skipped over MineCon last year because there was nothing new to show.
The Minecraft update to integrate the name changes will launch on February 4th, 2015.