I remember a time, around 2009 I guess, when a friend of mine asked me if I had played Minecraft - some new indie game made by a Swedish dude no one had heard of. I hadn't, so he showed me about the blocky sandbox game before making some pyramid type thing, seeming very proud of himself. At this point I asked him if he had anything else to play.
Fast forward six years and, unexpectedly, Minecraft has become a cultural phenomenon. People have recreated entire cities in its limitless quadrilateral plains of creativity, schools now use it as an educational aid and thousands of hours of Youtube videos, with their own Minecraft celebrities, now exist online. Basically, it's huge.
Something so big was never going to remain a single product, and so it wasn't surprising to find out that Minecraft has decided to expand. Take for example Minecraft: Story Mode, a new Telltale adventure game which turns the silent and spartan Minecraft world into one brisling with drama and characters. Telltale recently debuted a trailer, which you can check out below:
The game, which features voice-acting by name such as Patton Oswalt, Corey Feldman, Dave Fennoy and Martha Plimpton, was developed in conjunction with Minecraft creator Mojang. They claim the story for Telltale's adventure fits perfectly into the originally 'storyless' world of Minecraft. Owen Hill, Mojang's chief word officer, said:
They've crafted a story that follows the logic of Minecraft, but still manages to feel original. It's actually pretty funny too. And the pig is adorable.
So, How Is The Internet Taking This?
Unfortunately, not everyone has been so positive. The comments section for the Minecraft: Story Mode trailer is currently a warzone between those who love the idea of a Minecraft Telltale game and those who hate it. So far, the battle seems quite equal, as the trailer almost has as many likes as dislikes - 19,870 vs. 12,152 at the time of writing.
Furthermore, the top comment is currently:
No, my foul mouthed, long named friend. It isn't a joke.
However, Shut the f*ck up google+ and stop asking me if I want to change my f*cking name isn't a lone wolf in his criticism of the trailer. Here are some of the other negative responses to Minecraft: Story Mode. They range from the angry, to the despondent to the VERY CAPSLOCK ANGRY.
Of course, it wasn't all bad. In fact, it seems some of the disillusioned commenters were confused about what Minecraft: Story Mode actually was. It looks like many of them were under the illusion this was some kind of update for Mojang's Minecraft, and not a game in its own right. As explained by strider975:
The amount of division surrounding the release of the trailer is not exactly that surprising, as there was similar vitriol being spurted out when the game was first announced back in December last year. However, it will be interesting to see if there is a change of tune once the game is actually released. Telltale Games are currently riding high on a slew of critically acclaimed titles, including The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Game of Thrones. If there's one thing the adventure game company has proved over the last few years, it's that they are experts at adapting other company's creative properties into enthralling and immersive games.
Furthermore, much of this debate reminds me of another recent 'controversial' adaptation of a much loved 'storyless' sandbox game: LEGO. Prior to the release of The LEGO Movie there were many online who decried it in much the same way as this Minecraft: Story Mode trailer. When the film was actually released, it received almost unanimous praise.
Let's hope the same is true for Minecraft: Story Mode when it releases for PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, compatible iOS devices, and Android later this year.