The pandemic is causing Microsoft to pull the plug on Minecraft Earth, an augmented reality version of the hit game.
The shutdown will occur on June 30, a mere two years after Minecraft Earth was first announced. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the need for people to stay at home has ruined Microsoft’s plans for the game. “Minecraft Earth was designed around free movement and collaborative play — two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation,” the Minecraft team wrote on Tuesday.
Indeed, the game is basically a Pokemon Go-like version of Minecraft; through your smartphone you can view and place Minecraft creations in real-world locations, including in your local neighborhood.
The game added a new twist to the classic Minecraft experience, which is confined to a PC monitor or TV screen. With Minecraft Earth, you can see your creations built to life size through your smartphone’s camera lens.
For fans of the game, the good news is that Microsoft is releasing a final update today for Minecraft Earth that should make it easier to build structures. Once June 30 comes, the game will then no longer be available for download or to play.
“On July 1, we will delete any Minecraft Earth player data unrelated to Character Creator and Minecoin entitlements. For more information on the Minecraft Earth sunset process, you can check out the FAQ page,” the Minecraft team added. The developers then plan on reallocating Minecraft Earth resources to other projects.
Users who ever made a purchase in Minecraft Earth will receive a free copy of the traditional Minecraft Bedrock edition game. Paid ruby balances will also be converted into Minecoins for use in the traditional Minecraft game.