Minecraft has finally entered beta after spending over a year in public alpha. For those who have yet to discover this glorious experiment (time suck), Minecraft is an open-ended environment where you must mine and build things in order to survive.The popular sandbox building game
Minecraft became an indie gaming hit this fall, with some reports that the game was bringing in around $350,000 a day.
The popularity and sales are impressive enough for an indie game. But add to that the fact that Minecraft is not finished. It has been very much a work-in-progress throughout the alpha, with creator Marcus "Notch" Persson developing in the open, in response to emergent gameplay.
With the move to beta, Minecraft's price increases to 14.95 (roughly $20). But those who participated in the alpha version will get this and all future updates for free.
The beta version of Minecraft brings a number of bug fixes and adds a server-side inventory. According to Persson, the focus on this beta stage will be on polish and content as well as adding proper modding support with a stable API. Persson also says Minecraft may add some kind of "non-intrusive narrative to the game to help drive the game experience early on and to provide some kind of late game goal."