Happy holidays to all! We wanted to update everyone on our progress. But first two quick announcements:
1) Our small team is taking some much needed downtime over the holidays. We will not be processing any Minecraft orders placed between between now and January 3rd. (You can still place orders, but they won’t be fulfilled until we return). Also expect our customer support response time to be slower than normal.
But we are still accepting donations,
and sending out MinecraftEdu Beta invitations to folks that donate $5 or more. So you can playtest over the holidays. :)
2) We will be raising our prices a tiny bit for Minecraft (original version). This adjustment comes partly because Minecraft, itself, has gone up in price now that it’s out of Beta. But also we have chosen to pursue some more ambitious goals than when we first announced our pricing structure. Don’t worry. We’re still dirt cheap for the amount of gaming you’ll receive!
- A single license of Minecraft is now 12€ (up from 9.90€)
- A classroom set of 25 Minecraft licenses is now 249€ (up from 224€)
- The prices for our own version, MinecraftEdu will remain the same. (Free, 5€, or 30€ depending on the version)
- You can still order original Minecraft at the current price between now and January 3rd! So get those orders in!
- Prices in US Dollars will be set based on the current exchange rate when the prices change in January.
Now some updates.
The past few months have seen some great developments for our little company as we try to bring the benefits of Minecraft and game-based learning to classrooms worldwide. The interest and support from both the gaming and educational communities has been overwhelming. We are trying our best to live up to everyone’s high expectations!
But it’s been exhausting, and there is still a lot of work left to do. Hence the vacation. It’s been a challenge to get all the international business aspects of our operation up and running, but we are taking the time to do things right. And when we return to full operation in the new year, we’ll have quite a few behind-the-scenes improvements that will allow us to focus on our most important goals. Namely, creating a meaningful and versatile game experience for teachers and students. We want MinecraftEdu to be rock-solid and powerful, and backed by a large library of content.
And speaking of MinecraftEdu! We are reaching the home stretch in the development of the mod. The first public release will probably happen in the month of January.
A handful of pilot schools have already been using it with students and giving us some extremely useful feedback. We want to thank all the teachers and students that are diving in head first! We will continue to refine the software to be the most complete tool a teacher could wish for. Personally, I have been using the mod in my own classes, as well. It has been quite rewarding, and MUCH easier than in the past to manage my class and create meaningful content.
We have also been delighted to see interest in our mod extending beyond the classroom. Homeschooling and unschooling families have embraced it as a tool to bring the educational benefits of Minecraft into new settings. Researchers are using it to develop eye-tracking game controls for disabled people. And a team of Dungeons & Dragons players are even planning to use it as the basis of an online campaign.
It is a point of pride that our mod is flexible enough to support these varied ideas. We will continue to keep our focus on a coherent set of classroom tools, but we will do what we can to support anyone with ideas for creative applications.
As my Finnish partners say: Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta 2012!
(Merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2012 to everybody!)