So news just came out… Minecraft Earth will be shutting down later in June this year.
This is pretty devastating. I thought it was the most innovative augmented reality game on the market, and it was really pushing the technology.
Here’s the statement they released regarding the “sunset” of the game.
From the Minecraft Earth Sunset FAQ, they state the decision to shut down the game is due to the global pandemic.
The developers made the hard decision that they would rather re-allocate their resources elsewhere in the Minecraft community because of COVID.
Whilst it’s really sad to hear, I do understand. COVID has had a huge impact on the game industry, especially with location-based games.
When you can’t go outside for safety reasons during a pandemic, playing a game like Minecraft Earth or Pokemon GO can get hard.
It’s why a lot of augmented reality location-based games have added features to do activites remote, and more to do at home.
For example you have the remote raid passes in Pokemon GO and the Knight Bus in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
The developers have decided to give Minecraft Earth one last update as a send-off, which includes all the promised content in their pipeline.
It also reduces time requirements in the game, ruby costs, and other quality of life features to make the last few months more enjoyable.
Also, if you’ve spent any money on Minecraft Earth there will be a special offer to recieve Bedrock Edition free for mobile.
You’ll also be given Minecoins as compensation, which can be used in the Minecraft Marketplace and Character Creator.
Personally, I wish Mojang looked at other alternatives before deciding to shut down the game.
Minecraft Earth doesn’t even rely too much on the location-based/map features anymore, and they could have overhauled the game to focus specifically on the augmented reality elements.
The best part of Minecraft Earth was being able to build structures, farms or even play with redstone on your desk, then explore it life-sized in real life.
It was almost magical being able to walk through your Minecraft builds and interacting with them as though they were actually there.
Mojang could have removed the map element and just doubled down on the more creative and building aspect of the game.
I’m really going to miss Minecraft Earth, and it’s a shame because I was planning to get back into the game and cover it more on my channel.
Minecraft Earth was also one of the first gamse I covered professionally when I first got into journalism, so this news just hits a soft spot.
I remember the first time I covered the game for my channel – Is Microsoft releasing Minecraft GO? And staying up to watch Minecon to cover all the news when I was writing for GamePress.
Although it’s unlikely, hopefully Mojang decides to create an offline version of the game for the building aspect, or fans create their own.
If you want to learn more about the game, you can check out the official website.
Goodbye Minecraft Earth. I’ll always have fond memories. It was a great time, exploring, crafting, and building with friends!