Is it technically a "leak" if an alpha version of a pre-release beta patch is available early?
The unorthodox release schedule for PC gaming phenomenon Minecraft makes any discussion of leaks, piracy or beta tests a bit confusing. When most people first heard about Minecraft, the game was in its alpha stage, only reaching beta early this year. Fans of the game from Scandinavia have been anxiously awaiting the version 1.8 patch, known as the "Adventure Update" because it adds RPG features like NPC villages and a food system as well as more recipes and numerous bug fixes. The 1.8 patch was supposed to be live on September 8th, but was delayed. However, dutiful 4Chan forum-goers found a file on the Mojang website which seemed to contain the files for 1.8 this weekend, and Notch confirmed himself via Twitter that his right-hand man Jens Bergensten had uploaded the files for "expert users."
"Ooh, looks like 1.8 has leaked, not that I'd ever admit that. ;) Be careful when installing software you don't trust though," Notch said via Twitter. He then followed it up by asking for people who do play the game to report any bugs, "If you do use it, remember to report bugs, and to feel slightly bad."
Jens Bergensten, known as Jeb, is the project lead on Minecraft right now and he at least is aware of the strangeness of the situation. "Yes... People are beta-testing the beta :) The woes of having a beta game with millions of users," he Tweeted. "It's good that our most eager players have got their needs satisfied for the moment =) I feel a lot less stressed up now."
This morning, Jeb said he is continuing to squash any bugs that players are reporting for the leaked beta-beta test of Minecraft 1.8. "The current status of 1.8 is that I'm trying to fix the reported bugs of pre-1.8. It's hard to say how long time this will take," he said before giving a further hint on the status. "There wont be an update today, but tomorrow I will at least update the prerelease."
When will the final beta test of version 1.8 be done? Well, hopefully before Minecraft gets its final release at MineCon in Las Vegas this November.
Meanwhile, you can download the leak of 1.8 here.