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Minecraft client coming to iOS, Android platforms

Minecraft is an inconceivably popular indie PC game from developer Mojang. “Inconceivably” first and foremost because it is an indie PC release in a market where console games from top publishers are what move in big numbers. Maybe Minecraft‘s million-plus sales doesn’t hold a candle to the likes of Call of Duty or Halo, but the world creation game that looks like it comes from the medium’s NES era has caught on surprisingly quickly nonetheless. Creator Markus Persson talked about the game’s humble beginnings in a recent interview.

To reach the next level however, Minecraft is going to have to broaden its horizons. Persson and his team at Mojang are already thinking in that direction, as Gamasutra has learned. The Minecraft creator revealed that an official iOS version of the game is currently in development under the guidance of new team member Aron Neiminen. The iOS client won’t be a full reproduction of the PC game, but rather a streamlined version which only carries over those features that “make sense” for a touch-screen interface. Look for the release later this year.

In related news, reports also point to an Android version of the Minecraft client being in development as well. Mojang head of business development Daniel Kaplan said that the company decided to “do the iOS/Android version of Minecraft inhouse” in an interview with Kotaku earlier this month. That release is also reported to be due later this year.

What’s so very interesting about all of this news is that Minecraft is technically an unfinished game, as it is still in its beta phase of development. The experience is full-featured enough for Mojang to be selling it — and for consumers to continue buying it — but it is unusual all the same. Multiple unsanctioned Minecraft clients are available for iOS via a jailbreak, but you can expect the official Mojang release to trump them all with its streamlined design and direct-from-the-company product updates.