Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/23/minecraft/
Android and iOS get a little Minecraft love
Time-wasting goes mobile
Despite never being advertised, or having a publisher, the Java game Minecraft has sold more than 1 million copies, and is now on its way into mobile phones.
The game itself is remarkable only in its lack of objective, primitive graphics and (critically) infinite variety that allows players to create intricate landscapes for no reason beyond their own artistic merit. Now games blog Kotaku tells us the creativity is to spread onto Android and iOS platforms platforms, or will later in the year.
Minecraft was thrown together by Swedish developer Markus Persson, "Notch" to his fans. The game existed as a hobby, without a revenue stream for the first year or so, before adopting a subscription model for a premium version of the game which currently has just over a million subs, while the free version has more than four million users signed up.
Quite what drives players to spend hours creating intricate landscapes is a mystery to most of us, but Persson's lack of commercial objective and commitment to (eventually) open-sourcing the game attracts a loyal crowd, some of whom are even planning a documentary on the subject:
We have seen Minecraft on an iPhone before, an unlicensed version appeared briefly in the iTunes store to the annoyance of fans, but was swiftly removed without recourse to lawyers letters or legal threats.
Now it looks as though we'll have a legitimate version, some time later this year, no doubt to the delight of Minecraft players and the continuing mystification of everyone else. ®