The folks behind Minecraft are adding a set of new mini-games, starting with a competitive multiplayer mode that will release on consoles in June. The initial update will be free for players on all consoles, and Microsoft says that they (along with 4J and Mojang) will be supporting it with paid maps in the months to come.
Says Microsoft marketing manager Jaime Limon on Xbox Wire today:
Battle allows you to set up a competitive multiplayer fight for survival, where speed, strategy- and sometimes just pure luck- will make you the winner. Players in Battle matches use randomly generated resources found in chests placed in specially designed PVP maps and combat one another in a free for all death match until the final victor is determined. The fun's not all over after you are defeated though, as fallen players can spectate the combat among remaining players in the match by freely flying around each arena as a bat. Battle matches can be played with up to four players in split-screen and up to 8 players online via Xbox Live. Or, you can find other community members to join your game via an in-game matchmaking system.
There's no specific release date for Battle mode yet — just June. The folks behind Minecraft say other mini-games will be coming down the line too.