Mojang has done a great job of making sure Minecraft is available pretty much anywhere you want to play it, from your PC, to the web, and more recently, to your phone. The translatability of Minecraft’s simplistic graphical style and premise with regard to ports are the kind of no-brainer that marketers rush to point out in meetings.
After a lengthy process of making the alpha version of Minecraft Mobile available on all capable mobile devices, first starting with the Xperia Play and eventually making its way to iOS and Android, Mojang is ready to start working on evolving the mobile experience.
Or so you’d think. The developer heading the Xperia Play team, Daniel Kaplan, was recently asked by Gamasutra what the eventual 1.0 release version of Minecraft Mobile would look like as compared to the current 0.1.2 alpha version. His answer: “Oh, wow, I really don’t know. I can’t answer that.”
With many other games, this would make for quite an ominous sign. Thankfully, this is a game being developed by Mojang, and they’ve made responding to community input into an art form. Rather than seeing this as a sign that Minecraft Mobile has become a rudderless ship, it’s much more likely that the team is leaving room for users to share their experiences and suggest ways to shape Minecraft to the mobile platform.
While the commercial release of Minecraft will always be the touchstone for any future version, there are inevitably going to be game mechanics which don’t work well on every platform. Can you imagine trying to deal with a pursuing creeper on a cell phone with no physical directional controls and at most four buttons? I can, and it ends up with a pixilated version of me in little bits across the landscape.