Minecraft Earth is Shutting Down

Posted on January 5, 2021 by Brad Sams in Games with 15 Comments

Back in 2019, Microsoft launched Minecraft Earth, a real-world Minecraft experience that felt a bit like Pokemon Go. The game was shown off at Apple’s WWDC conference and at the time, looked like it was going to be another success for Microsoft.

But one pandemic later and the game that had a lot of potential is shutting down. As announced in the Minecraft blog, the servers will be turned off in June of 2021 and there is one final update that is rolling out today.

Today’s update removes real-money transactions, reduced ruby costs, reduced crafting and smelting requirements, and essentially, make it much easier to experience the entire game’s mechanics before the plug is pulled.

Importantly, for those who have outstanding balances in the game, they will be converted to Minecoins that can be used in the Minecraft Marketplace. If you need more information, you can view the full FAQ, here.

It’s not all that surprising that this title failed to catch on because of the pandemic. When your game is based on human interaction and moving around in the real world, that’s a recipe for failure during 2020.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Minecraft Earth is Shutting Down”

  1. remc86007

    It's amazing they are shutting this down around the time the vaccine should reach a critical mass. It seems like they could make a big marketing push later this year to revive the game. How expensive could it possibly be for Microsoft to keep the servers on?

    • anoldamigauser

      In reply to remc86007:

      It is wishful thinking that the vaccine is anywhere near critical mass. Maybe next year around this time, hopefully sooner but I would not hold my breath.

      • remc86007

        In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

        I was implying it will be reaching critical mass around July when they plan to shut it down, not now. I think we are going to see a steep drop-off in covid cases by the summer of this year; it won't be totally gone, but it will be decreasing rapidly and people, especially the young people that would be into Minecraft Earth, will be way less restricted than they are now.

    • behindmyscreen

      In reply to remc86007:

      Critical mass is when over 50% of the country has the vaccine with a continuing acceleration on administrations.

    • Truffles

      In reply to remc86007:

      Agree. My guess is that Covid is just a convenient excuse for shutting down a failed game.

  2. brothernod

    Did anyone here play it?

  3. beckoningeagle

    I tried playing it, but the micro-transactions were a stupidity. Minecraft is more about building and exploring than trying to work so hard for resources. I would have played it more if it was a game bought outright. I know it is not the popular business model for apps these days but all that just made the game boring.

  4. Chris_Kez

    This seems short-sighted to me, with AR devices coming in the next two to three years. Microsoft is one of the few companies that could afford to build out and maintain a game like this until that happens-- and not really miss the money. I can only imagine the numbers were terrible.

  5. IanYates82

    I signed up for a beta but it never came to Australia as far as I know.

    We're a country that could actually be playing it right now (Sydney has some issues right now but that's getting under control and has otherwise been open for months fortunately)

  6. Rafael Rivera

    I tried to stick with Minecraft Earth and it just felt like it was in a perpetual prototype state. The app had extremely long load times, the AR aspect was not fun and small, and I was not motivated to go around collecting resources for challenge completion. Sad to see it go but not surprised.

  7. hellcatm

    I didn't even know about this game.

  8. madthinus

    Pandemic is a easy scape goat. Mobile gaming is hard and success is few and far between. It does not look like this got anywhere.

  9. gregsedwards

    Leaving us with only 4,195 platform-specific versions of Minecraft.