What is Minecraft Earth

Microsoft discontinues Minecraft Earth - because of Covid-19

Microsoft is discontinuing Minecraft Earth after less than two years. The company had big plans for the augmented reality (AR) game. Released from autumn 2019, Minecraft Earth should be an alternative to the then most popular AR game Pokémon Go. On Tuesday, the Minecraft team announced the end.

On June 30th, Microsoft will officially end support for Minecraft Earth; from July onwards, the game can neither be downloaded nor played Then all player data will also be deleted. Both the Android and iOS versions are affected.

The reason for the discontinuation of Minecraft Earth is that the game is designed to move freely in the world and to play together. The Minecraft team notes that this is almost impossible worldwide during the coronavirus pandemic. That is why Microsoft prefers to use its resources elsewhere.

One last update

Before that happens, Microsoft will once again provide a new - and final - version of Minecraft Earth. All real money transactions are removed and the costs for game elements that are paid for with virtual rubies and construction times are significantly reduced. This should make crafting and building easier and safer from home.

There are also some new, previously unreleased game components. Players who are just now registering should get some extra elements for their game character at the start and for their limited playing time.

Anyone who has already invested real money as a Minecraft Earth player will get their virtual rubies back as so-called Minecoins. Microsoft accepts these in the Minecraft Marketplace, for example for other Minecraft versions or mini-games. In addition, players who previously made a purchase in Minecraft Earth will receive a free copy of the "Bedrock Edition" Minecrafts.

Building in augmented reality

Minecraft Earth has been available in Germany since November 2019 and is based on other augmented reality titles such as Pokémon Go, but takes this technology much more seriously. While the AR functionality in Pokémon Go is just a gimmick that most players never activate or only activate for a short time, you cannot play Minecraft Earth without an activated smartphone camera.

Minecraft Earth shows the world in its well-known block optics based on the Open Street map. Real buildings are marked by slight elevations in the game world. In addition, there are actual AR elements such as a construction mode in which players with activated mobile phone cameras can place blocks and creatures on a flat surface such as a table. In this way, buildings and landscapes can be built on a smaller scale, which seem to fit into the real world.

Finally, the Minecraft team would like to thank all players and the Minecraft community. The termination of Minecraft Earth was not an easy decision. The operator hopes that players will get the most out of the final version.

(fds)

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