Notch releasing Minecraft source code soon?
When describing the future of Minecraft, creator Markus 'Notch' Persson first promised on "developing Minecraft until it's a finished complete game." That meant a downloadable client, custom key re-mappings, and possibly modding support.
He also promised that he would release the game source code as "some kind of open source". This, of course, wouldn't be done until sales start dying and a minimum time has passed. Well, with Minecraft officially releasing in November 2011, I'd say we're close to the "minimum" timeframe. We all know Notch doesn't like to wait.
Similarly, I assume since the release of the game sales have slowed - at least somewhat. Granted, I don't know what Notch considers slow but around November 7th, 2011 Minecraft passed the 4 million sales mark. Now, about a month and a half later, it's still hovering in the low 4-million sales range. Minecraft has clearly been successful, and still had 8,195 people buy the game in the last 24 hours, according to the game's stats page.
So where am I going with this? Today, Notch informed fans that Minicraft, his Ludum Dare game, is not Open Source, but does have source available because of the competition's rules. With that being said, there is no license so you are free to play around with it. However, if you want to use it commercially, you need to talk to Mojang first. Notch also explained that fans can't re-release the code as open source, making "those github things" technically illegal.
Notch clarified, "in reality, I don't care as long as you're not doing anything commercial with it." So you can play with the code all you want, just don't plan on using it for money.
Which brings me to my next point: Notch has plans to release the Minecraft source code and this may be the catalyst. Depending how this goes, the Minecraft code could make it's way to the gaming community rather soon.
When asked from a fan if he "considered doing the same with the #minecraft code? Open Source but non-commercial only and no distro allowed," Notch replied:
"Yes, that's kinda the plan."
The question is when - and I don't think we're too far off. Whenever he does plan on releasing it, you can bet the Minecraft community will take full advantage of it.
As for the Minicraft app on the Android Marketplace, Notch said, "Well, that's technically not lega, but it's free, so I don't care." What a guy, this Notch is.