Mojang’s best-selling indie-hit Minecraft has managed to transfer its success to mobile, with Minecraft – Pocket Edition racking up more than 700,000 downloads after being released for Android and iOS in November — despite a $6.99 price tag and a noticeable lack of both mining and crafting due to the game still being in Alpha.
The original plan for Minecraft – Pocket Edition was to make a simple version of the game centered around Minecraft’s Creative mode, according to Mojang’s business developer Daniel Kaplan, but user feedback has made the developer reconsider, a move that has required a significant change of plans.
While the Mojang team plans to submit an update to the App Store and the Android market on Feb. 8, Kaplan declined to reveal any details in an interview with Inside Mobile Apps.
He was pretty tightlipped and only said that the Pocket Edition will be a unique version of Minecraft, not a watered down version of its PC fore-bearer.
“We are definitely aiming for something different,” says Kaplan. “It would be pretty hard to try to copy everything the PC version does since we can’t and [not] everything on a PC works on a touch screen. We are doing everything we can to make sure players get the best experience possible.”
As with the original Minecraft, Mojang is planning on gradually improving Pocket Edition. “We will look on the stuff we have planned after the 8th of February and see how we will prioritize them and arrange them,” he explains. “See what did work before and what will eventually work.
Unfortunately, due to the combination of Minecraft’s success and its currently limited feature set, the game has generated an army of copycat apps, many of which have found there is money to be made by stealing Minecraft’s gameplay and branding, and by pretending to be a fully featured mobile version of the game.
“It is really sad when people are trying to be Minecraft when they are not or when they rip graphics from our game,” says Kaplan when asked about the frequent impostors. “I do hope more people report them to Apple and Google.”
According to our traffic tracking service Appdata, Minecraft – Pocket Edition has maintained a consistent presence on the top grossing apps chart for the past month. It is currently the No. 22 top grossing app and No. 53 top paid game on iOS.