In just over a week's time, the behemoth that is Minecraft will move from the alpha stages into beta. Just before that date, there will also be an inventory update to the game.

So what does the move mean for Minecraft players? Well, not a lot actually - in fact, it mainly affects future purchasers of the game. Notch always promised that if you bought the game while it was in the alpha stages, you would receive all updates for free - and he's sticking by his word. However, once the game enters beta, this promise will no longer be valid for subsequent buyers, hence anyone who buys the game after December 20th will NOT get future updates for free. The price will also get a hike from that date, up from ten euros to fifteen.

Notch has said that once the beta lands, development focus will be fully on adding polish and tons more content to the game, while supplying proper modding support. If you haven't yet dabbled in the world of Minecraft, now would be a very good time to do so - go grab a copy!