Minecraft‘s been one of the biggest success stories ever in the video game medium. The sprawling browser-based game’s mostly the work of one man, indie developer Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, with more than 6 million people registered. It’s become wildly popular over the last year, so much so that Paypal froze Persson’s account on suspicions that all the money coming in was part of a scam.
The title give players virtual plots of land and blocks where they can build anything they can imagine. Users have built functioning computers, replicas of the Starship Enterprise and, inevitably, homages to other games like Halo. Still, hardcore fans have complained that they want a full release of Minecraft.
They’re finally going to get it. Persson just announced that the game will be out of beta come November 11, 2011:
It’s a bit tricky to really do a release for Minecraft as we keep updating it all the time. For one, the version we deem as the “full version” won’t be very different at all from what the game was like a week ago, and we’ll keep adding features after the release as well, so it’s really more of a milestone when we finally get rid of the Beta label, and some kind of goal for us to work towards. The plan is to be open with this and try to get people to cheer us on as much as possible, but to be open with the fact that the game won’t change much at the actual release day. (It’s more a progress up until that point)
As part of Minecraft’s continuing evolution, Persson says the game will be adding new localized weather effects like snow and thunderstorms. There’s no word on how they’ll affect the building process or the game’s monsters, but chances are these features will only make Minecraft more unpredictable and addictive.