In an interview with Edge Magazine, 4J studios say that they could be the first to provide constant updates to an Xbox Live Arcade title.
In the interview, Paddy Burns, Chief Technology Officer at 4J Studios in Dundee, who are handling the port, said that the release will initially be a port of the 1.6.6 beta that was released last May – days before the XBLA version was announced at E3 last year.
To line up with the current version of Minecraft – the official release, 1.0 – Burns said that there will be continual updates to the XBLA port. This would be a first for Xbox Live, as Microsoft has historically not allowed companies to provide active updates for titles, which has been a constant source of frustration for developers due to a lengthy testing process. However, Burns was encouraged by the prospect of being the first company to pioneer a change for the platform:
“[T]hey [Microsoft] are quite keen to move towards that [constant updates] – they do see it as the future, so I think we might be the first to do constant updates.”
Fewer Minecraft updates for PC and Mac users
Though while a change in the update process would be a welcome move forward for Microsoft and Xbox Live, players should expect updates to not be as often as the PC and Mac versions:
“I don’t think it’ll ever come to that … I think that there will always be Microsoft testing involved.
“But the whole turnaround of that testing they’re hoping to speed up, so we can maybe roll out every two months. We’ll have to see how that goes … I’m really looking forward to it being updated with patches and new features after it’s released.”
Minecraft for PC and Mac has continued to be the source of amazing feats from its community – which topped 20 million players this month, and has been expanded to mobile devices – providing recreations of Super Mario Land in motion and The Legend of Zelda’s Hyrule in-game.
XBLA up against PCs and Macs
There’s also the question over whether the XBLA version will be as robust as the PC and Mac versions, as the latter allows total freedom over mods and the creative freedom that players have, as players can setup their own servers with relative ease.
As for when the Xbox Live Arcade port of Minecraft will hit our digital shelves, Kaplan said to Edge Magazine that “Microsoft has said late winter, and I have to say the same. Late winter or early spring, something like that.
“Winter in Sweden is very long, so you can expect … just kidding. Late winter.”