It's no stretch to say that Minecraft is one of the biggest names in modern gaming. Despite breaking onto the scene quietly with a paid alpha, it has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone - gamer or not - who has yet to hear of the title, so for this reason it's no surprise that fans would yearn for some venue and reason to gather together and bask in their collective love of the game.
This is where MineCon comes in. Hosted by Mojang themselves, the event gave Minecraft fans exactly what they wished for. Since its inception in 2010, it has become an annual event, even going so far as to take place at Disneyland. Whether due to location or a wish for more than one event a year, the game's monumental success has even given birth to unoffial conventions. One such event by the name of Mineorama has even made its way into the news recently, and not in a good way.
Planned to take place in New York City from July 11 to 13, Kotaku reports that the event was cancelled on July 7, just days before it was to take place. This was allegedly followed by a tweet to the event's Twitter account stating, "PLEASE NOTE WE ARE NOT A SCAM... It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that @mineorama has been postponed, stay tuned for updates." The only explanation that was given was also in the form of a tweet from event organizer Lou Gasco citing that "financing fell through."
If this sounds fishy, then it shouldn't come as a surprise that the event's website and Twitter account have gone down and been deleted respectively. In the case of the Twitter account, it has since taken on new ownership and is being used to make light of the situation. For those who paid the $150 ticket cost - upwards of 3,600 fans - this is hardly something to be taken lightly. Would-be attendees have reportedly received no word from Gasco outside of the parting words posted to the now-dead Twitter account.
Some lucky folks have managed to get their money refunded through their credit card providers, but more are stuck with without word of the event's status or if they'll ever be able to recoup their money. Kotaku's Jason Schreier has stated that he reached out to one of Mineorama's other organizers - Timothy Carroll - regarding the convention's status and was simply met with a statement of "no comment" followed by a hang up.
For those who are still holding out hope that Gasco or Carroll will provide some sort of explanation or reimbursement for the events that have transpired over the last few weeks, the situation doesn't exactly look promising. While it's still unclear whether Mineorama is a full-fledged scam or simply a task that became too weighty for those attempting to put it together, it's unfortunate that so many people ended up getting hurt in some way.
Possible scams aside, Minecraft is still going as strong as ever. Not only is it capitalizing on the success of the recent Guardians of the Galaxy film with in-game skins, but Minecraft: Pocket Edition is continuing to receive massive updates. With a live-action film in the works, Minecraft isn't going anywhere. Mineorama may have fallen off the map, but with MineCon still on its way fans still have a lot to get excited about.
What is your take on the whole situation with Mineorama? What do you think the next big step for Minecraft will be?
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ThatRyanB.