A mysterious game that seems to be a free trial of Minecraft: Pocket Edition has cropped up in the Play Store, but it does not seem to actually be available as of this writing. The app in question only allows access to survival mode and is time-limited. It also has no multiplayer capabilities. Essentially, this means that people get to try out the core Minecraft experience in any way that they want, but marathon play sessions, saving, and many other methods of reaching endgame content are out of the question. Additionally, you can't create a world in this trial game and then transfer it to the real deal. The app description on Google Play does not seem to say exactly how long the trial lasts, so once or if it becomes available, it may be an interesting way for people to figure out if they want to pay the entry fee to spend more time in Minecraft's blocky world.
Background: While a trial version of Minecraft does make a lot of sense in a way, there are a few things about this whole business that one can't help but wonder about. For starters, this is Minecraft. It's one of the biggest things in the gaming world, and has been for quite some time. It also has tons of clones in the Play Store. Surely, if somebody wanted to play Minecraft, they would know that they do. Second, the app is listed in the Play Store, but is not available right now, it seems. Android Headlines staff in the United States and Croatia tried to grab the download, and it was unavailable across all attempted devices. The trial may be for an extremely limited market space where Minecraft may be having less of an easy time than others, or it could be that the demo simply isn't fully ready yet. Whatever the case, if you are on the fence about Minecraft for whatever reason, you may want to keep an eye on the Play Store listing linked below. The $6.99 entry fee for Minecraft: Pocket Edition may seem steep, but if you're into the sort of thing that Minecraft offers, which is a sandbox of sorts with large worlds and multiplayer support, it may well be worth using this app to check the game out and see if you really want to commit to that purchase.
Impact: There's pretty much no way that this development could negatively affect Minecraft's bottom line. It is a bit strange that it's on the Play Store and seemingly not fully available to all, but there are a number of possible reasons for that. Though the iconic experience has likely already attracted most of its player base for now, growth can come in the form of new gamers aging into Minecraft's target base, or players who have not had any previous experience with the game getting access to it. Expect to see the number of people playing Minecraft on Android surge if and when this app becomes available.