Minecraft is an interesting phenomenon. Despite still being in beta, the game has sold more than 1.8 million copies, netting indie developer Mojang over $33 million. All that for a game that looks like this:
Graphics aren't everything, and Minecraft's unique "sandbox building" gameplay certainly seems to have struck a chord. The fact that new features have continually been added to the game probably helps keep it fresh, too. Weather is coming in a beta 1.5 update, and it'll reportedly have gameplay implications rather than being just a bunch of
pretty pixelated effects.
The developer has also scheduled a milestone of sorts. On November 11, Minecraft will finally exit beta and see an official release. That doesn't mean the gravy train of updates will end, though. Mojang plans to continue expanding the game after the beta period ends. The developer will also be the subject of a fan-funded documentary on what may be the most surprising gaming success of the past year.