Minecraft: the second part of Caves & Cliffs finally has a date!

Minecraft: the second part of Caves & Cliffs finally has a date!


It's official: the second part of the biggest and most impactful Minecraft update of recent times, Caves & Cliffs, is finally coming, and much sooner than previously thought. In this waiting period Mojang has certainly not been standing still, and while she was perfecting this other side of the update she continued to work on the next version of Minecraft arriving next year, the 1.9, also called the Wild Update. While waiting for this fresh content, we now have something to play with: starting November 30, the last part of the Caves & Cliffs update will be available to the public.

This second part of the update adds many very important new features to the game, but we immediately reassure you that unfortunately the new mob, the Alloy, will be released together with the Wild Update, in 2022. In any case, the new contents arriving with this update are certainly worthy of note: among these we have in fact the most important of all, that is the extension of the subsoil. Thanks to this update, in fact, it will finally be possible to go below the level of the Y axis 0, completely renewing the gaming experience.

In addition to this, also the various elements generated within Minecraft worlds will be retouched: the mountains and caves (especially the latter) will be totally reworked, giving them an aspect that had never been seen before in the entire history of the game. Furthermore, the mineral veins will be significantly retouched, making them more profitable. Finally, candles will finally be added (or rather, now they are finally available in Survival mode too), which risked never being introduced within the title, but which fans have been clamoring for.

This highly anticipated second part of Caves & Cliffs is finally upon us: there are less than two weeks before its arrival on both the Java Edition (exclusive for PC) and the Bedrock Edition (for Windows 10, consoles and mobile devices ). If you are not in the skin and cannot bear the wait, then we recommend that you have fun with another very interesting new Minecraft content, namely the Disney World themed DLC.

Minecraft lovers? Then you can't miss Minecraft Dungeon, now on sale for a limited time: you can buy your copy here.

Celebrating a Blockbusting Decade of Minecraft

There are certain titles that basically define an entire generation, and it’s inarguable that Minecraft is one of them. From humble origins, the block-based survival construction game rocketed to become the best-selling video game of all time. It was exactly a decade ago that the first official release of Minecraft was unleashed on the world, but the creators had been harvesting materials and crafting in obscurity well before then. Let’s take a trip back to see how it all came to be.

Before The Dawn

The indie game development scene was booming in the first decade of the 2000s. New tools made it easier than ever for small teams to craft impressive titles. One of the hotbeds for this new generation of developers was The Independent Gaming Source, or Tigsource. Founded by Jordan Magnuson in 2005 and soon taken over by Derek Yu, the site hosted a blog as well as active forums where people would show off their works in progress.

In May of 2009, a poster using the name “Notch” started a thread with a link to a Java applet that could be played in the browser for a new game he was working on, asking for feedback.

“The main inspiration for this game is Infiniminer, but it's going to move in a more Dwarf Fortress way, gameplay wise. =)” he wrote. Infiniminer was a game by Zach Barth and Chris Gengler that had an early build released earlier that year. It shared the blocky world-building and resource extraction, but it was designed as a team-based competitive title. The developers abandoned it shortly afterward, but it made an impact.

The other game Notch mentioned in that first post, Dwarf Fortress, was already the toast of the indie gaming scene. Created by brothers Tarn and Zach Adams, DF is a sprawling simulation of cave civilization set in a complex procedural world that is generated from scratch every time you start a new game. It’s almost impossibly opaque and complex, but the overlapping systems create a possibility space full of potential. That sense of “anything can happen” became a key tenet of Minecraft’s appeal.

Early Crafting

That initial demo wasn’t much more than a world to move around in, but Notch - in actuality, a Swede named Markus Persson who had been developing games since the age of eight - rapidly iterated on Minecraft in response to player feedback. He created a multiplayer online mode and added new monsters and block types. Before people’s eyes, Minecraft transformed from an idea into a working game, and Persson founded a company, Mojang, to produce it. By June of 2010, Notch was working on it full-time and ready to release an alpha version of the game - one with all desired functionality represented. That would cost 10 euros, and purchasers would get access to the final game as well. A thousand people bought in that first month.

Interestingly enough, the Creative mode was removed from Minecraft after the first release, not to return until the beta release in December of 2010. Over the next year, the game would meet several new milestones, introducing different biomes, creatures, secrets, and more. Notch’s development process revolved around introducing new ideas quickly and letting the public test them out, and that rapid pace and open feedback structure built a devoted fanbase. PC Gamer even proclaimed it 2010’s Game of the Year.

January of the next year saw the millionth Minecraft account registered. By November of 2011, Minecraft had become a worldwide phenomenon before even officially being released. More than 4,500 people gathered at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas on the 18th for Minecon, a fan event that also saw Notch announce that Minecraft was out of Beta and officially on sale for 20 euros. It had been a whirlwind few years, but things were going to get even crazier.

10 Years Later

Critical and commercial reaction to Minecraft was overwhelmingly positive. Along with the base Java edition, Mojang produced C++ versions for Android mobile devices and consoles. But the man who started it all stepped away immediately after the retail release. Notch handed lead development duties to Mojang programmer Jens “Jeb” Bergenstein, who continues to shepherd Minecraft to this day.

Recommended by Our Editors

The more platforms the game became available on, the more its momentum grew. The release of the Xbox edition in May 2012 saw the game move a million downloads in its first month. Tie-in merchandise like LEGO kits - a natural fit for the blocky aesthetic - came soon after. 

2014 saw Microsoft pay $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang and Minecraft with it. What seemed like a preposterous sum has turned into one of the smartest acquisitions in gaming history, as the franchise continues to print money both through the base edition, as well as spin-offs like Education Edition and Minecraft Dungeons. The game has been ported to just about every platform under the sun and earns hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Microsoft every year.

Upon the sale, Notch and the other founders left the company to pursue other interests, a thing large amounts of money definitely helps with. But 10 years on, Minecraft shows no signs of slowing down. New generations of players keep getting hooked to build, survive and explore the world that Mojang built, and even today new updates add changes and improvements that keep older users coming back.

Looking back at that first prototype, as well as the initial retail release a decade ago, it’s easy to see why Minecraft has the success it does. The basic interactions were simple to understand, and the cubic elements were immediately recognizable to anybody who has ever played with LEGO or other building toys. Crafting a unique narrative world around these elements with just enough context to distinguish it from competitors was the icing on the cake.

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