Minecraft’s online game world is currently larger than the earth’s surface. However, it didn’t begin like this. The game has grown and evolved over time, becoming much more than its humble beginnings. Let’s look back at Minecraft’s history and see where it all began. Then, let’s trace its steps to the present and the future.
Marcus Persson, also known by Notch, released “Cave Game” in 2009. This game was first released for the PC and was very popular with people who like to code and design games. Persson had created the basic blocks so that users could create what they wanted.
The creator released Minecraft in an updated version. However, it is far from the game we know today on PC or consoles. Although it was very basic for the most part, early Minecraft versions allowed for more than building. The game was also a resource management simulation, which made it so unique. Because players could gather the resources they needed, the creations were more meaningful to them as they had to be built with parts they had already collected.
This mechanic is evident in many games today. Some games used players to gather resources, but not to build blocks by blocks with their own digital hands. Skyrim, Terraria and many other games have integrated a simple mechanic like this into their games.
You could also battle monsters, create items and explore the vast world. The world just kept growing, as we mentioned earlier.
Minecraft remained in beta for a very long time. This was longer than most other games. It was speculated that it would never be released from beta. New features were constantly being added to Minecraft and the owner kept the project updated as new ideas came in and players offered suggestions.
The modding scene was a lot stronger in the early days of Minecraft. Players often modify their favorite games on PC using programs that they have created or shared with others. These programs allow players to modify the game to their taste, add new features or quests, and even update the graphics.
Minecraft is a simple game with very basic block shapes that make up the world. The graphics are made to look like pixels. It can do amazing things with its limited visuals and can process user requests faster than if it were using higher-end graphics. It also allows for changes to be made quickly and at a lower cost than if it were using modern graphics.
Before 2009, Minecraft had several modes. These modes include Survival, Indev, or Infdev. The game was still in its beta stage at this point.
The beta stage started in 2010. In 2010, the creator quit his day job to dedicate himself to Minecraft. He added new features and fixed bugs. All bug fixes were provided free of charge during this development cycle, even though new versions of other games cost money.
After Mojang became interested in the project, and began to finance its development, the beta phase began. In 2011, they would release the full version of Minecraft. The game sold millions of copies worldwide and became a global phenomenon. However, there was still much to be done for Minecraft.
After the game was published, updates were made and bugs were fixed. New server hosts were installed, which allowed the game to run more smoothly and make use of its processing power. As players attempted to navigate the vast digital space, the world grew in size. It was designed to be endlessly replayable, so new areas were added to make it more enjoyable.
The base world was also given the Nether and End. The Nether was a Hell-like area that could only be accessed via a portal. The End was a collection of islands on which the final boss of this game lived. After the boss was defeated the credits would roll. However, players could still go back to their worlds to explore the game environment after they beat the game.
Hitting All Platforms
Mojang released a few versions of Minecraft while they held the publishing rights. They also released a free version of Classic Minecraft for the PC. This was in addition to the full version that they had most of their publishing power behind. Microsoft purchased the game and brand from Mojang a few years later and began a publishing frenzy.
They first put Minecraft on their systems, the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, and later brought the same game to the PlayStation 4 and the Wii U. Microsoft is not slowing down in publishing and developing Minecraft.
The game has grown beyond its single-game roots. Microsoft gave Telltale Games the task of creating Minecraft Story Mode. This is a story-based, single-player game that plays largely like an interactive story.
A school edition of the game was also available. It was designed to be used in classrooms and focuses more on building and exploring than combat.
Microsoft continues to support Minecraft’s base game by releasing skin packs that offer new looks for major characters. You can make your characters look like holiday icons or pop culture icons such as Star Wars and Harry Potter. No matter which fanbase a person is, they will likely find Minecraft skins that interest them. These skins have already been released in dozens, with more coming every day.
Minecraft is Moving Forward
For a long time, there have been rumors of a sequel. It’s almost a decade since the original game was released, so it makes sense that it would be given a sequel. Updates, remasters, and spinoffs seem to the only things in the pipeline. Microsoft is reluctant to give any details about a sequel.
Everyone in the industry believes that one will come but don’t know when. Microsoft is more concerned about protecting their brand and making the best of what they have with this game than making quick buck with the sequel. They paid a lot for the brand and game. It makes sense that they will take their sweet time with the sequel and make sure it propels the brand forward for at least another decade.
They still make a lot of money from the base game, its many versions, and the DLC (downloadable content). It is not a rush to put a sequel on shelves, when so many people still spend money on the original.
Microsoft’s current plans for Minecraft are, as far as anyone has been able to tell, that they will prioritize platforms where players are concentrated. Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows 10 have priority over other platforms with fewer players. Microsoft will give priority to players on other platforms once they grow in number.
This means that players on platforms and consoles that Microsoft actively supports will be receiving regular updates. Realms allows players to rent a dedicated server. This will allow them connect with their friends and family, without the host ever being online, and create a persistent environment for them to explore.
Microsoft has taken a wait-and-see approach to Minecraft development. They are cautious about where they should be focusing their development efforts and how they push the IP forward. It was a substantial investment, with a cost of 2.5 billion dollars.
E3 2017 was the last time anyone learned about the new additions to Minecraft. We can expect more information at the next E3. Microsoft showcased its Better Together update. This update allows players from the Switch and Xbox One to play together. This is a rare feat for a console game, and it’s exciting to see how Microsoft has been open to sharing its inter-console connectivity.
Another big improvement for Minecraft is the Super-Duper Graphics Pack. It increases the graphics to new heights and adds dynamic lighting effects. It drastically changes Minecraft’s look without changing the mechanics. This downloadable pack makes the distinction between day and night more visually appealing and helps to create a mood for Minecraft that was not possible before.
This update doesn’t change the look of Minecraft. This update is completely optional and players can still use the same look they’ve loved for years. Microsoft is moving forward with updates such as this, with their focus on allowing Minecraft players to experience it in any way they choose.
Microsoft is also testing the possibility of exposing code to players. This allows Minecraft players to personalize the game to their liking by altering mob behavior and other aspects of the game’s operation. Microsoft has no plans to allow players the ability to modify the skins and graphics in any way. This is understandable. They are aware that many people will abuse this kind of power and create creations that are not in keeping with the brand Microsoft has created with Minecraft.
Minecraft is constantly changing. While not all of these changes will be necessary for everyone immediately, you can bet that no single version of Minecraft will remain the same for very long. With such a well-known brand, the developers won’t allow it. Microsoft has big plans for the franchise, but they are keeping quiet about a sequel or spinoffs. We know that Minecraft Story Mode will continue for a while. The educational Minecraft version used in schools is also doing well and will continue for the foreseeable future. Microsoft intends to keep the game updated for a while, we also know.
Microsoft has made it clear that they have a 100 year plan for this franchise. That will eventually lead to a sequel, but Microsoft isn’t in any rush to disrupt the existing user base other than growing it and providing new content for the ones they have. It’s possible to expect great things from Minecraft over the next few years, but it’s difficult to predict what form they will take.