Minecraft has hit over 6,000,000 (six million) sales, and just shy of 30 million registered users! The game continues growing, and so does the player-base; MCX360 has definitively sold over a million copies, and the Pocket Edition easily doubles those numbers.
It's almost impossible to really grasp the totality of how far Minecraft has come, and how much Mojang has grown. What will the next major landmark be for the smash-hit sandbox game, and the blockbusting team behind it?
All told, it is believed that Minecraft has sold over 9 million copies on every platform for which it is currently available. In the last 24 hours, 83,284 people have registered at minecraft.net, and 8,994 people bought the game, just on the PC platform, in that time. Minecraft also celebrated its third birthday almost two weeks ago today.
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A lot of exciting things have been happening in the world of Minecraft lately, and Mojang wants to share their good fortune with everyone! To begin, they are starting a weekly celebration of the community. This will happen in various forms – videos, tweets, and a weekly blog post every Wednesday. This week, they want to start off the celebration strong, with a free MCX360 code giveaway! How does it work? Easy - first, be sure to follow them on Twitter. Once you have done so, do one of the following:
Help them come up with a great name for the weekly blog/community event! The best name gets a free code. OR,
Create something cool with the theme of “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition.” It can be a photo, sculpture, drawing, photoshop artwork, or anything fun you can think up. Tweet a picture of it and use the hashtag #MinecraftXBLA. Some winners will be chosen at random and others based on awesomeness and originality. Some of them will be featured on a first community YouTube video next week!
Don’t worry if you aren’t a twitter user, there will be lots of fun activities happening on Mojang's blog, YouTube, and also on Facebook. Check back every Wednesday for fun challenges and featured community members!
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This weeks "Minecraft News" takes a close look at Notch's upcoming new game, "0x10c"; we also touch on the recent release of the official line of Minecraft LEGO products, this week's AMA (more on that in a moment), Minecon 2012 and the secret Snapshot 12w15a update details!
Pocket Edition Update Soon
It is about time for another Pocket Edition Update! The portable Minecraft port can expect more advances in tools, creatures and survival mechanics - one step closer to perfection. Have you built something truly awesome in Minecraft: Pocket Edition? If so, show us here!
Pocket Edition has spent some time slowly becoming more and more like the Survival mode we know and love on the PC version. While it has been said that MCPE will never be exactly like the PC version, the addition of Survival elements and more robust Creative controls is a welcome addition. Keep an eye out as we track the exact changes to the upcoming update - if you just can't get enough portable building action, you won't want to miss out on the new info!
Of note on the PC version, the Mod API will be getting some particular focus very soon. How soon? We won't say, precisely - not just yet.
Ask Jon Anything - Users Ask Much of Mojang's AI Guru
Jon Kågström - the man responsible for many incredible AI changes in Minecraft, among others - had his AMA session today! Jon answered a host of questions about the game; the future of group-based monster intelligence, how the upcoming Mod API might be used with mob interaction in mods, possible trading with villagers, and so much more. If you have never heard about what Jon does for Mojang, now is a great opportunity to see him talk about his work first-hand, and believe me, you don't want to miss out. Check out Jon's AMA by clicking this link!
Mojang Moving Into New Office Soon
Mojang has been pining for a new office for some time now, and they finally have a "ready" date for it - June 1st! Mojang's Carl Manneh spoke briefly on the topic, noting that the ceiling is green.
One has to wonder if it is creeper green. Why would it be anything else?
While the office will be ready for move-in by June 1st, Mojang will likely not relocate to the new building until a week or more after this date. Anyone who has ever tried to relocate an entire office can easily tell you why: all of the excitement of packing up and moving from home, but with tons more stuff. Usually much heavier stuff, too. Nonetheless, the new location looks fancy - we will update you with new pictures as they become available.
Scrolls to Alpha Stage Soon
Have you been anxiously awaiting the upcoming CCGI-alike, "Scrolls"? Itching for some card-combat action? It won't be long before you can see it first-hand: the Scrolls Alpha is coming soon! Mojang has been playtesting Scrolls quite a bit lately, even having in-house tournaments every week. It won't be long before players will be able to do the same, so keep an ear to the ground!
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PAX East Going On Now!
That's right, the Penny Arcade Expo (more commonly known as "PAX") is going on right now in Boston! While Mojang doesn't have a booth set up there this year, Lydia Winters and Marc Watson are in attendance, and giving away goodies to any Minecraft fans who may find them:
Minecraft Chick said:
Marc and I will be attending PAX all this weekend and giving away tons of things! We won’t be having a Mojang booth, but we want to say hi to as many of you as possible! Meet up with us in front of the convention center to get your very own CREEPER TATTOO. I’ll be wearing a bright green creeper scarf and Marc will have on a Minecraft shirt! Friday – 5pm Saturday – 11am and 3pm Sunday – 11am and 2pm
Be sure to follow "@mojangteam" on Twitter - Lydia will be tweeting their location from time to time, and anyone who follows them may win J!NX gear, and other awesome swag. Don't miss out! Mojang hosted their own massive convention - Minecon - in November of 2011. While a Europe-based 2012 Minecon is highly likely, it hasn't been irrefutably confirmed.
Minecraft News - April 6th, 2012
This week, David & Toby talk about the 1.2.5 update, Notch's new prototype game, Notch's GDC Fireside Chat and more - take a look!
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Ask Jeb Anything - Many Have, and Jeb Has Answered
Jens "Jeb" Bergensten recently wrapped up his "Ask Me Anything" session! He talks about his feelings on the current enchanting system (and possible changes to it), his favorite addition to the game, his pre-Mojang history, and so much more. You can read all of his answers by clicking this link, be sure to check it out! Want a sample of the sorts of questions he addressed?
Villagers are still barely done. I also want to look at the experience / enchanting system. And I really want to add to the farming stuff... It's hard to find time for these things, though, because we are working on bigger things "outside" of the game at the moment.
I don't plan to add a new dimension at the moment. It's just to performance heavy on servers, and the current dimensions need more attention before we start adding new ones.
I'd remove all the lighting bugs without decreasing game performance ;)
I don't want to add new ores just because I can. I want new ores to serve a new purpose.
Not sure about the status of expansions at the moment. I think an expansion needs to be something of a total conversion.
You can see Jeb's entire AMA session by clicking this link. Do you still have questions for Mojang? You can still ask them directly - Mojang has their AMA schedule freely available; just click here to see their upcoming schedule, so you can ask your favorite Mojang developer anything you like! We have already heard from Daniel Kaplan (aka Kappische) and Jens "Jeb" Bergensten - coming up on Monday, April 9th is Nathan "Dinnerbone" Adams, formerly of the Bukkit team. If you want to ask him anything, be sure to mark your calendars!
Notch Focuses on Space - A New Game
Anyone following Notch may have noticed his most recent project, a game focusing on space, computer engineering and other sci-fi themes. His project - currently named "0x10c" - brings to mind a sort of space-survival theme, with a focus on ship maintenance, landing on planets, programming a real in-game computer, and more. In Notch's own words:
In a parallel universe where the space race never ended, space travel was gaining popularity amongst corporations and rich individuals.
In 1988, a brand new deep sleep cell was released, compatible with all popular 16 bit computers. Unfortunately, it used big endian, whereas the DCPU-16 specifications called for little endian. This led to a severe bug in the included drivers, causing a requested sleep of 0x0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0x0001 0000 0000 0000 years.
It's now the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD, and the first lost people are starting to wake up to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy.
The game isn't yet available for testing, although he wishes to approach it much as he did Minecraft in its early days; players will be able to play-test it in Alpha (and throughout development), with a fairly low price to begin with. Without a doubt, the star of the show is his in-game computer, a real, programmable machine that can be programmed, updated and tweaked much like a real-life one:
Each ship has a generator capable of producing a fixed wattage, and everything you connect to it drains wattage. A cloaking field, for example, might require almost all the power from the generator, forcing you to turn off all computers and dim all lights in order to successfully cloak.
The computer in the game is a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.
You can follow his progress on the game right here. I know we will be watching for it.
User-Made Mod Review: "Move Plus"
YouTuber "TheGamersCave" brings us a look at the mod "Move Plus", which allows things like double-jumping, wall jumps and even parkour-specific controls in normal terrain. Anyone looking for a mod to make their game a little more acrobatic, this mod is definitely worth a look - be sure to check out TheGamersCave's review, and let him know what you think!
Fireside Chat with Notch
Recently, the GDC Vault had a chance to sit down for a candid talk with Markus "Notch" Persson on his many thoughts on Minecraft. They cover a wide range of topics, including why he chose to simulate some things in the game accurately and not others, his predictions for the future, "girl" options, and much much more. Check out this link to see the full discussion - it is nearly an hour long, and he doesn't hold back on the juicy details!
Minecraft Companion App, FTW
Having a massive, comprehensive wiki on Minecraft is usually the first stop for anyone looking for recipes, redstone tips and all things Minecraft. However, what about those who want a mobile option for in-game information? Minecraft Explorer Pro might be for you - this iPhone App offers detailed info on in-game items, recipes, and even a "Skin Studio" to browse, create and alter skins for your game. This app is definitely a welcome addition to any hardcore Minecrafter's toolkit, and is super-cheap besides, weighing in at 99 cents USD. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!
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Numerous Minecraft characters made their way through the March Gaming Bracket Challenge, but now - in the grand finale - only the creeper is left standing. His opponent? Diablo's "Tyrael"; truly a fearsome opponent. Can our creeper beat him? I think so - head on over and vote for him now!
Mojang to Host AMAs on Reddit
Ever wanted to ask a member of Mojang a question, and have a real shot at getting an answer? Your time is now; Mojang is hosting their own AMA ("Ask me Anything") series this month! You can see the current schedule right here - included in the upcoming AMAs will be Markus Persson (aka Notch), Jens Bergensten (aka jeb_), Jon Kågström, Daniel Kaplan, Tobias Möllstam, Nathan Adams (aka Dinnerbone), Nathan Gilbert (aka Tahg), Warren Loo (aka EvilSeph), and Marc Watson. Don't miss your chance to Ask Mojang Anything!
We take a look at the second and final half of our interview with Jens "Jeb" Bergensten, lead developer of Minecraft - we finish up our discussion about the upcoming Mod API, and chat a bit with Jeb on a variety of topics, including the future of SSP/SMP. In addition, this week's Round-Up includes Lindsay giving us news on WoW Pandaria, Diablo III, Star Wars: Old Republic, Guild War 2, and the indie game of the week, ColourBind. Check it out!
Today, we have a special treat - an interview with Jens "Jeb" Bergensten, lead developer of Minecraft! We touch on a number of topics, including the future of Minecraft, possible AI updates and - the moment everyone has been waiting for - the introduction of a fully supported mod API! Take a look!
This week, David & Toby tackle a number of interesting topics, including Pocket Edition updates, updates on the recent "Scrolls" lawsuit, and more - take a look!
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Long ago - before the dawn of history - we saw the beginnings of a lawsuit from Bethesda Softworks/Zenimax over the rights to use the word "scrolls" as a title for a new game Mojang was developing. Time went on, and it eventually ended up in court, with indie underdog Mojang refusing to relinquish their use of the new title. Now, it seems that the lawsuit has come to a close, with Mojang the victor. The final verdict? As told by Mojang CEO Carl Manneh, they will be allowed to use the name "Scrolls" for their new game title, but will not maintain control over the trademark of said word. This marks the end of a long road between the software publishing giant and indie game studio, and all things considered, there was minimal conflict. Carl added, "it was never about the trademark, but being able to use 'Scrolls' as the name of our game, which we can".
One could say that the lawsuit took an arrow to the knee.
Bethesda Softworks/Zenimax originally wanted Mojang to stop using the word "scrolls" for their new game for fear of confusing it with their "Elder Scrolls" franchise. Scrolls is a CCG-like game which "offers a new and unique game play where you fight to outmaneuver your opponent on the battlefield using the destructive powers in your collection of magical scrolls". You can sign up for the Scrolls Alpha by going here and providing your email.
Community Spotlight - Savage Realms
This week, we take a look at the incredibly diverse SMP server "Savage Realms" - definitely a server worth visiting if you want an endless bounty of activities combined with a solid, tightly-knit community. Check it out! Special thanks to cr0ssVtW, acidsinn, hungoverfurball and Mayhem for giving me the grand tour! My only regret was that there was so very much to see, it was a constant battle to figure out what would make it into the video. If you head over to their server, be sure to check out their "Underworld" region - it really is something else!
XBLA Minecraft Sneak Peek - Split-Screen!
During the recent Game Developer's Conference, we had a chance to check out the upcoming XBLA Minecraft, now with split-screen action. Take a look!Back to Top
You read it right - Instead of pocketing his sizable dividends, Markus "Notch" Persson distributed nearly 3 million dollars to fellow Mojang employees! He stated that his fellow employees (often referred to as "Mojangstas") are "a massive part of the reason Mojang is the best place on earth to work at right now." There are 25 employees working at Mojang - you see can see them all right here!
Since launch, Minecraft has generated approximately $100 million in revenue, covering the spectrum of Alpha, Beta and Full Release sales for the PC version of the game, as well as the highly popular Pocket Edition, which is currently available for Android and iOS handsets. The XBox Live Arcade version of the indie blockbuster is expected to see release this year - and if the popularity of the PC and handheld game are any indication, this figure is likely to rise dramatically.
For those of you curious what a "dividend" means in everyday terms, it is basically a form of payment made by a corporation (paid regularly, typically quarterly) to its shareholders out of its profits (or reserves). For Notch, this means "money paid to him by Mojang as a shareholder". So, Notch has taken the available dividends paid to him for the fiscal year of 2011, and distributed them among his fellow staff members, rather than take it home himself.
It is truly moving in this day and age to see such generosity from one man, especially one as successful as Notch. That a single gesture can even move a fellow co-worker to tears speaks volumes about the impact his offering has had on his teammates - perhaps, we can all look to this as an example of selfless generosity, and emulate it in kind.
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