Despite outsourcing its development, Mojang has revealed Minecraft’s Xbox Live Arcade release will begin life as a beta, just like its PC progenitor. Xbots: get on board, stat.
In the same Develop interview whence came the news that EA apparently made an attempt to acquire Mojang, studio founder and Minecraft creator Markus Notch Persson said the new team’s lack of console experience means the Minecraft port is being handled externally.
“None of us have done any console games before because it takes quite a lot of resources, which is why we’re using another company called 4J, in Dundee, Scotland. They have great experience in working with Microsoft and seem to be a perfect fit for us,” he explained.
“The way we’re going to do it is similar to how we did Minecraft on the PC. So we’ll do a beta version first or something like that and then try to get feedback – find out which parts are actually fun to do, what do you like doing when playing on the console as opposed to the PC.”
Notch said some aspects of Minecraft had already been identified as problematic for control pads – specifically, crafting. The console port won’t support mods at launch, and will update far less frequently than the PC version.
The Xbox version of Minecraft owes its existence to Microsoft third-party account manager Peter Zetterburg, who knew Notch personally and started the ball rolling.
“I said yeah, sure, Xbox is cool, Microsoft is cool,” Notch said. “It took us quite a while before we decided what to do and how to do it but we’re really excited about the Xbox project.”
Notch also commented that the Mojang game room goes largely unused, which is probably good news for those sweating on every update to the expanding adventure title.
“While Friday afternoons are supposed to be ‘gaming Friday’ it’s more fun to work on our game rather than play others,” he said.
Minecraft is officially still in beta on PC, and is due to “release” on November 11, but will continue to update with new content.