One of the developers responsible for working on Minecraft - Pocket Edition [$6.99 / Free], the mobile version of Mojang's open-world block-building phenomenon, took to his Twitter recently to dish some details on Pocket Edition, reports Joystiq.

Johan Bernhardsson revealed in a tweet yesterday that 5 million people have purchased the Pocket Edition of Minecraft, a not insignificant number on mobile, and adding that to the crazy numbers of desktop and Xbox 360 players the total number of Minecraft-ians across all platforms is a staggering 17.5 million or more.

Digging a bit further into Johan's timeline, the developer also teases online multiplayer for Minecraft - Pocket Edition, a feature that really defines the full-sized version of the game and one that is really missed on mobile. It sounds like it's probably a ways off though, but he does peg a release window of late January/early February for the next update which won't include multiplayer but will mostly be behind-the-scenes type of stuff and will likely include a few goodies as well.

[Joystiq]

  • Cheeseball

    Looks like Jeb (the lead programmer for Minecraft PC) will be assisting Aron in developing MC: PE.

    • farnsworth_pro

      You'd think they could afford to have multiple dev TEAMS hired on to bring the pocket edition up to par. There really are no excuses when the entire studio sleeps on a bed of cash. They're not some humble indie house any more, they need to stop acting like it.

  • Sevenfold Avenger

    Who else can't wait? And my birthday is at the end of January, this is gonna be awesome!

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      The multiplayer won't be in the Jan/Feb update, sadly. I clarified the last paragraph just to be sure.

      Happy early birthday anyway though! :)

  • http://twitter.com/PrayForDeath Pray For Death

    Does this figure include the free version?

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      It doesn't seem so since he specifically mentions "purchased" copies, but it does include iOS and Android combined.

  • MrSpud

    Looking forward to see what the next update brings, I might get back into it if they include caves and/or bigger worlds.

  • http://twitter.com/andersnoren Anders Norén

    Still waiting for beds. When that gets added, I'll be all over this.

    • Undefinednerd

      Those have been out dude..

      • http://twitter.com/andersnoren Anders Norén

        Seriously? Well, that's my weekend then.

    • MrSpud

      Where have you been?!

  • dibdib

    Five million, yet they still treat it like some garage effort. Hire a staff. Turn out some regular updates. Stop taking months just to add a fence.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I don't think they're treating it like a garage effort. I think they were caught off guard by its popularity. And remember that their original intention was to just have the mobile version be an overblown creative mode. When the fans voiced how much they wanted it to be more like regular Minecraft, they switched gears and have been laying the groundwork to do just that. These things take time though, much like original Minecraft slowly evolved.

      Also, as mentioned above, the lead programmer from Minecraft proper is now working on the pocket edition. So yeah I think they're taking it very seriously now.

      • farnsworth_pro

        If they weren't treating it like a garage effort, they would have had the product up to par with the other versions by now.

        How can a game that made them so much money on every single platform they released it on catch them off guard?

        Mojang was a multimillion selling studio with ONE title, which wasn't even out of ALPHA!!! But the mobile version caught them by surprise with its success? After the xbox version came out of the gate breaking records? I'm not sure if I really buy that.

        The only way that could have even conceivably happened would be if they were expecting it to fail because they were offering such a shamelessly gimped experience. And with the money they have on hand, that's pretty sad indeed. I'm glad they're reorganizing their staff, but they could seriously hire on entire studios to rebuild the game from scratch and still come out WAY ahead monetarily. It's very difficult to think of any of their excuses as legitimate.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Whoa man, calm down. First off, they had originally planned Minecraft pocket to be just a creative mode, and then based on feedback had to seriously change course. http://www.mojang.com/2012/01/where-is-my-update/ That might sound like a simple thing to do to YOU, but you actually have no idea whether it is or not. It's also pretty easy to assume a company can just snap their fingers and make things happen or throw whatever amount of money they need to at something because it's not your money to spend. The truth is you don't know their financial situation, their employee situation, their schedule availability with other projects they're doing, etc.

        Second, Minecraft came out on 360 after the pocket edition came out, so I don't see the correlation there. How could they prepare themselves for the success of a title that came out 6 months in the future?

        However, I DO think they purposely made Pocket Edition a gimped version but not out of malice. I think that's honestly the kind of experience they thought people would want on a mobile device. It makes sense too, I mean if you're waiting for 2 minutes in line at the grocery store it might not be the ideal time to try and outrun a creeper and searching for safety.

        Anyway, you can think whatever you want. I think Mojang has done a hell of a job giving people a really decent Minecraft experience in their pocket and all signs point to them continuing that effort.

  • Rickard Olsson

    Amazing numbers! People sure love Minecraft!