Minecraft, the indie-developed open-world sandbox building game for PC, will be entering the Beta phase of development on December 20.
So confirms the game's creator, Markus 'Notch' Persson, who explains: "With Beta comes a larger focus on polish and content, and we'll start early on with adding proper modding support with a stable API."
That and a price hike from the current €9.95 to €14.95.
Notch adds: "We'll also add some kind of non-intrusive narrative to the game to help drive the game experience early on, and to provide some kind of late game goal," while more extensive testing and polish will mean "more time between updates".
Despite costing more, Notch says the licensing agreement will be changed, removing the promise that all future updates will be free. Those who purchase the Alpha version before December 20 will get all updates free as promised, but purchasers past that date can expect to have to fork out again for a more final version of the game.
When Minecraft is finally finished it will cost €20.
Notch confirmed in October that the game has 1.6 million registered users.