Mojang, the indie darling creator of sandbox game mega-hit Minecraft, has announced two initiatives that no doubt have kids--well, their parents rather--in the cross hairs. Headed soon to the PC version of Minecraft is a new service known as Realms. Realms will aim to simplify the processes of managing a Minecraft server for a yet-to-be-decided fee of between $10 and $15.
"Our costumers [for Realms] are parents who are tired of trying to act as server administrators on behalf of their kids," Mojang CEO Carl Manneh said, according to GamesIndustry International. "Minecraft Realms will be a simpler kind of service, aimed at families and kids. In the future we aim to offer certain profiles with mods that are certified to work without crashing, but this will still be a safe and easy way for kids and families to play Minecraft online."
The Realms service will provide subscribers with their own private world with control over which players have access and those players' friend lists. Only one player per Realm will need a subscription, though anyone invited will of course need a copy of the game. And, let's face it, that's simply an eventuality. The developer hopes to release its Realms subscription service on PC in a beta test this May, with a version for Minecraft on mobile devices to follow.
Mojang has also announced that Minecraft on Xbox 360, which is already downloadable via Xbox Live Arcade, will hit U.S. retail shelves on April 30 for $20, the same price as it goes for on PC and XBLA today. According to Joystiq, the disc version of Minecraft will offer all of the features and content offered on the current XBLA edition and receives updates alongside the original.
Parents, beware: Mojang is after your plastic. That said, we can think of fewer better games to be after your dollars on the regular.
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