Though Minecraft has been publicly available for yonks and already raked in $33 million in sales, the much-loved indie dig 'em up is still only in beta. And end of sorts is finally in sight, though, as a release date has now been announced.
Creator Markus 'Notch' Persson revealed on his blog that Minecraft will be 'released' on November 11, 2011. This just so happens to be The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's launch date as well, inspiring the unofficial tagline "us too." Persson notes that he's excited about Skyrim, "so that will be a nice reward for me if we actually manage to hit that date!"
However, as you might imagine, 'releasing' Minecraft won't mean that the game is finished.
It's a bit tricky to really do a release for Minecraft as we keep updating it all the time. For one, the version we deem as the 'full version' won't be very different at all from what the game was like a week ago, and we'll keep adding features after the release as well, so it's really more of a milestone when we finally get rid of the Beta label, and some kind of goal for us to work towards. The plan is to be open with this and try to get people to cheer us on as much as possible, but to be open with the fact that the game won't change much at the actual release day. (It's more a progress up until that point)
Persson also revealed that Minecraft version 1.5 is expected to launch next week, bringing a weather system rather than the expected achievements and statistics features. Rain, snow, ice and storms will periodically batter your blockworlds. Rain will handily water crops, but it'll also put out fires.
iOS and Android versions of Minecraft are also in the works, though they won't be identical to the PC edition.