Mojang and Microsoft have made a free version of the 2009 build of Minecraft. Available to play in your browser right now, Minecraft Classic turns the pixelated clock back to a time when the game only had 32 different material blocks, no in-game store, and no controversy. There’s also not much to actually do, but we were all so much more willing to let a developer slide on possibility back then. If you like to stack blocks, and then stack even more blocks, this is the version for you.
The Mirai Botnet crippled major hubs of the internet in October 2016 with a series of distributed denial of service attacks deployed at a speed and volume that security experts had never seen before. The big innovation was using infected “internet of things” devices that consumers and manufacturers routinely fail to secure like home surveillance cameras or web-enabled kitchen appliances.
According to the Justice Department, it was all done in the service of Minecraft. There’s stiff competition in the world of pay-to-play Minecraft servers, and three young hackers, short on morality but long on innovation, turned their skills towards the business of securing Minecraft hosts. What better way to do that than invent the world’s most powerful botnet and unleash it against competing security and server providers? Okay, it may not have turned out the way the creators wanted, but for an upside, it taught the FBI how much money Minecraft can generate.
It was only a matter of time before Microsoft engaged the community and let them create the paid content for Minecraft. Mojang and Microsoft have announced the Minecraft Marketplace. It’s the paid mods model that everyone was so keen on when Valve and Bethesda tried it with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Your one stop shop for other people’s Minecraft work. There’s a new currency to go with the in-game shop, of course. Minecraft Coins ($9.99 for 1,720 Coins! Best Value!) are now available for all your shopping needs. Microsoft takes a 30% cut of the marketplace purchases, but the community creators get more, which the publisher hopes will encourage budding entrepreneurs.
The Minecraft Marketplace is available now in the mobile and Windows 10 versions of Minecraft.
That’s all of 1996’s Pokemon Red recreated in Minecraft. That’s not just the environments, or the characters, frozen in Minecraft like a blocky Madame Tussaud’s. As impressive as that would be, this is the full original Gameboy game faithfully (some would say obsessively) programmed into Minecraft with no mods used. That’s 357,000 command blocks stamped out over 21 months for Reddit user MrSquishy to make his mark in history. You can grab the map yourself to try out in Minecraft. The creator warns people that his Pokemon recreation requires a bit more resources than the normal Minecraft map, and there may be some bugs, although some are intentionally recreating glitches from the original handheld game.
The Chinese Mythology Mash-Up expansion pack is coming to Minecraft: Console Edition on October 4th. Unlike most of the official DLC bits for the console version of Mojang’s building game, this new pack features a pre-made world instead of just dumping themed assets into a random setting. The Chinese Mythology Mash-Up is built around the kind of imagery you’d expect in a blocky recreation of Journey to the West. Serpentine dragons, jade columns, and pandas everywhere. The game’s user interface even changes within the DLC to imperial red and gold. Minecraft: Console Edition will also be updated for free on October 4th with polar bears, beets, craftable banners, and new arctic biomes.
The Pocket and Windows 10 versions of Minecraft are getting some love as well. The Boss Update tweaks some boss monsters in the game and presents Add-Ons, a feature meant for tinkerers. Add-Ons allow players to adjust game values, mix effects, and even create scenarios like a castle siege or an alien invasion. The Boss Update will launch on October 18th.
Mojang doesn’t want advertisements in Minecraft, at least not the ones they didn’t have a hand in creating. Mojang has added language to their commercial guidelines that forbids promotional material made by corporations, businesses, advertising agencies, non-profits, and governments within or associated with Minecraft. No more commercial Crystal Pepsi servers or Red Man tobacco mods allowed unless you’ve worked out a deal with Mojang.
We want to empower our community to make money from their creativity, but we’re not happy when the selling of an unrelated product becomes the purpose of a Minecraft mod or server.
The studio noted that individuals not receiving payment may still create fan-related Minecraft material with branded themes. If you’re just a nut about Adidas, and not affiliated in any way with the company, go right ahead and build that giant redstone sneaker.
Player versus player gameplay is coming to Minecraft. More specifically, Microsoft, Mojang, and 4J Studios are making mini-games for Minecraft: Console Edition, the first of which will be a competitive multiplayer mode. People have been making up their own Minecraft multiplayer games for years, but Microsoft wants to offer players an official set of rules. Battle introduces a bit of arena fighting to the free-form gameplay.
Players in Battle matches use randomly generated resources found in chests placed in specially designed PVP maps and combat one another in a free for all death match until the final victor is determined.
The new mode will be added for free to owners of Minecraft: Console Edition in June. Future map packs – there’s the money! – will be sold for $2.99 periodically.
Mojang has updated the combat in Minecraft. The Combat Update has been a long time coming and it features sweeping changes to the game’s fighting. Player strikes no longer happen as fast as you can tap the mouse button. There is now a delay that forces players to time their attacks. To offset this cool-down, shields can be crafted from various materials to block incoming hits. Dual-wielding is now allowed. Swords have a sweep attack, and axes can deal crushing blows. Along with these changes, a host of new materials and items have been added to the game.
The Combat Update is currently only available for the older Java-based version of Minecraft. The Windows 10, console, and mobile versions of the game are still a couple of updates behind, so “old-school” PC players are the only ones that get to experience the new gameplay. The good news is that there are plenty of skin packs to buy on those versions of the game.
Yes, that’s Patton Oswalt as Jesse, the main character of Minecraft: Story Mode. Besides him, Telltale Games revealed at Minecon 2015 that the cast will include Brian Posehn, Ashley Johnson, Scott Porter, Martha Plimpton, Dave Fennoy, Corey Feldman, Billy West, and Paul Reubens. Ever since the game was first announced, people have wondered how Telltale would take the do-whatever gameplay of Minecraft and meld it to their signature story-heavy format. Now we know.
Jesse and his group of friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone; four adventurers who slayed an Ender Dragon. The Order are the very best at what they do: Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect. While at EnderCon, Jesse and his friends discover that something is wrong… something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and they must set out on a journey to find The Order of the Stone if they are to save their world from oblivion.
In related news, Mojang and Microsoft previewed new features coming to the game including off-hand wielding, enchanted arrows, and an end-game makeover to beef up the experience. Microsoft also explained that while the initial Windows 10 app of Minecraft will be based on the mobile pocket edition, the various game versions will be brought in-line across all platforms.
“I chopped some wood from a tree. I dug a hole. I found some coal and crafted a torch. I chopped some more wood from trees. I made a crafting table.” Telltale Games thinks there may be more to Minecraft than that. They’re partnering with Mojang to create Minecraft: Story Mode, a narrative-driven game series like The Walking Dead or Tales from the Borderlands but with more exploding zombies. According to Mojang, Minecraft: Story Mode will not attempt to cement the franchise’s lore.
We’re not intending on creating an “official” story for Steve, or explaining the world of Minecraft in detail. It will be a cool game.
Minecraft: Story Mode’s first episode will launch in 2015 for Xbox and PlayStation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android-based devices.
Microsoft has purchased Mojang AB, and all of its game properties. Scrolls is now a Microsoft product, as is a little indie project known as Minecraft. According to the studio statement, co-founders Markus Persson, Carl Manneh, and Jakob Porser will be leaving to pursue other interests. Persson said in his notice to fans that his primary reason for selling Mojang to Microsoft was to get away from what his life had become and to go back to what he loved doing – namely coding and making small hobby games. Although Mojang states that they don’t have any plans for Scrolls, they do say they will continue planned development of their other property, so your Mojang account won’t be a total waste. Until it becomes an Xbox Live account.
You can read the official press release here.
By now, you’ve probably heard the rumor. Microsoft may be trying to buy Mojang, the studio behind Minecraft. The Wall Street Journal broke the news late yesterday, naming an anonymous source near the negotiations. The most jaw-dropping bit of the news was the rumored price tag. $2 billion! It sounded crazy. Markus Persson, outspoken creator of Minecraft, was going to sell his company to Microsoft? The guy that flamed Oculus when Facebook bought them for $2 billion? The man that responded to shilling in 2012 with this sarcastic tweet?
Anyway, my price is two billion dollars. Give me two billion dollars, and I’ll endorse your crap.
A couple of hours later, Bloomberg reported the same story, but they had three sources and some intriguing details. According to their people, Persson reached out to Microsoft with the proposal! Mind-blowing, if true. Earlier today, The New York Times backed the rumors adding to the mill. The news reports agree that an official announcement could come as early as next week, if the deal gets finalized.
What would Microsoft hope to get out of the deal besides Minecraft? Probably nothing. They wouldn’t be interested in Scrolls, or any of Mojang’s other licenses. But Microsoft sure would be jazzed about an exclusive for Minecraft 2. Minecraft is available on everything from Android to the PlayStation 4, but a sequel could be locked down to in-house Microsoft systems, and that could really move some consoles. As for Persson, well it’s $2 billion. You can be as snarky as you want to be about selling out, but when you actually have that much money in your face, the math changes.
We’ve reached out to Mojang and Microsoft for more information, but both companies have declined to comment.
The Xbox 360 Mincraft Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Mash-up Pack features wintery Nord terrain textures, Elder Scrollsy crafting objects, a revamped user interface, and music from Skyrim squashed into Minecraft. It’s two games with aimless wandering and player-driven stories combined into one mega-open-world DLC!
Pre-made World recreating the area of Whiterun, Riverwood and Bleak falls Barrow (on a smaller scale in order to fit with technical constraints of the games map size limits)
Okay. Maybe it’s not so mega-sized. The pack will be available on Wednesday for $3.99.
The Google Quantum A.I. Lab Team, a deep-thought group that explores quantum computing, has made a mind-bending mod for Minecraft. qCraft adds blocks that exhibit quantum entanglement, superposition, and observer dependency. Huh? What? I’ll be honest, the video above explains nothing for me, but the Google Quantum A.I. Lab folks say they worked with MinecraftEdu and Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter to make a fun, engaging way to teach quantum physics concepts to kids.
We built the Quantum A.I. Lab to explore the potential of quantum computing, and figure out what questions we should be asking. One question is clear: Where will future quantum computer scientists come from?
Our best guess: Minecraft.
Looking back on some of the incredible Minecraft creations I’ve seen over the years, I think these Google people may be on to something. You can download the mod at the qCraft site.
Microsoft and Mojang mix some Mass Effect into your Minecraft.
…the first Mash-up Pack will feature the popular Mass Effect franchise, allowing fans to play in the stunning recreation of the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 or create their own worlds with special Mass Effect textures and craft-able items. The Mash-up also includes themed menus and user interface, 36 pixel-perfect Mass Effect character skins and 22 music tracks from the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack.
The $4 add-on will be available on Wednesday. The ending will be changed sometime this fall.