Planting players into a procedurally generated world and telling them to ‘build, explore and survive’, Minecraft’s success has been nothing short of meteoric. Originally created by Markus “Notch” Persson and released in 2009 as a developmental alpha version, its road to a full release (as developed and published by Mojang) in 2011 is a prime example of how early access models can work.
And what a success Minecraft has been. As of June this year the game had sold over 50 million copies across PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360, Android and iOS. So high is the appeal around Minecraft’s survivalist, block-building gameplay that according to the tracker on the game’s official website, over 10,000 people bought the PC/Mac version of the game in the last 24 hours alone.
These are impressive stats for a game that’s technically a “sandbox indie” and it’s only set to continue with the game’s impending release on current gen consoles. Unfortunately, though, PS4 owners may have to wait a little longer for their Minecraft fix as the game has now been delayed for Sony’s latest platform.
The problem stems from bugs found in the current state of Minecraft on PS4. As explained with a tweet and a sad-face from 4J Studios (the developer responsible for the Minecraft ports on Xbox One, PS4 and PS Vita) the build isn’t yet stable enough to pass through Sony’s quality assurance.
Sony found some issues we have to fix in their final test of #MinecraftPS4 :( We're fixing, but we need to go through the process again.— 4J Studios (@4JStudios) August 20, 2014
Understandably, Sony employs a QA testing method to ensure that PlayStation players are getting a stable build with no major game-breaking bugs. No one wants to pay money for buggy or broken games so instead of this being an extra hoop for 4J to jump through it’s just a method of protection for their users.
The problem with this is that it can take a while. We have no way of knowing how serious the bugs are (presumably they aren’t too terrible or 4J surely would have spotted them beforehand) but even if it only took the developer a short amount of time to fix them, they still have to resubmit the game which could take an additional week. It also means that it will likely miss its August release window.
There’s no word on how this will change Minecraft on other systems though. The PS Vita version of the game was always rumored to release in September, while the Xbox One and PS4 releases of the game were set to be release together. It’s unclear (but unlikely) that Mojang and 4J Studios would hold back the game just because the tensions between PlayStation and Xbox fans are at boiling point right now and they did previously agree to making Minecraft a timed Xbox 360 exclusive, after all, so clearly there’s a bit of history there.
Despite the lack of information though, owning the PS3 or Xbox 360 version of Minecraft nabs you a $5 discount when you buy it on PS4 or Xbox One so even with a delay, that deal is something to look forward to.
Source: 4J Studios