Bad news for Minecraft fans — the collaborative mobile AR game Minecraft Earth will be closing down for good in 2021, bringing an end to the third game released in the popular block-building franchise.
Minecraft Earth operates on a simple premise: players could travel around in the real world and interact with points of interest in a way similar to Pokemon Go. Rather than battle creatures, players could dive into dungeons, get loot, and put down "plates" to build custom designs that they could experience with other players. Unfortunately, it will all soon be coming to an end.
"Minecraft Earth was designed around free movement and collaborative play – two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation/" – Minecraft Earth announcement
Today's announcement mentions that a game designed around "free movement and collaborative play" was "near impossible" to pay amidst the pandemic lockdowns of 2020, some of which are continuing into 2021 or starting anew. That said, there's still some time before the game comes to an end and players will have a few months to enjoy some neat bonuses.
What Happens to Minecraft Earth Now?
Seeing as Mojang is closing up shop — the official Minecraft Earth website is already closed — it doesn't make much sense to charge players money for things anymore. That's why it's removing real-money transactions from the game entirely, along with several other changes to drastically reduce the grind:
- Removing real-money transactions
- Drastically reducing ruby costs
- Including all completed, unreleased content currently in our pipeline
- Reducing time requirements for crafting and smelting
- Replacing unused crafting & smelting boosts with radius boosts of the same level
- Granting a set of Character Creator items to players who sign in between January 5 and June 30
When Does Minecraft Earth Shut Down?
Minecraft Earth will shut down on June 30, 2021. On July 1, any player data not related to the Character Creator or Minecoin entitlements will be deleted. You can read more details about the shutdown process in the official F.A.Q.
Although the game's official website is gone, it's still very much available for download for Android via Google Play and for iOS via the Apple App Store. You'll be able to download it until June 30, 2021; after that, it's gone for good.
What do you think of Minecraft Earth shutting down? Do you think the game could have had the same success as something like Pokemon Go or was it fundamentally flawed in some fashion? Let us know in the comments below!