Minecraft Earth, Microsoft’s Move Into Augmented Reality Gaming

Minecraft Earth, Microsoft’s Move Into Augmented Reality Gaming
Credit: Microsoft NewsRoom

Pokemon Go was and still is a massive success in the world of augmented reality gaming. In the middle of Minecraft’s 10th anniversary, Microsoft announced their new mobile game Minecraft Earth.

Similar to Pokemon Go, Minecraft Earth uses your mobile device as a window into the digital world and gives you access to interacting with this environment. Many are describing this game as a planet-wide Minecraft takeover.

Unlike Pokemon Go that rarely uses the augmented functions for more than just displaying Pokemon and tracking your steps, Minecraft Earth allows users to build digital creations. Other uses could visit your back yard and see the castle that you made. It will enable users to mine out tunnels and create amazing projects all over their city.

“We have covered the entire planet in Minecraft,” says Minecraft Earth director Torfi Olafsson in an interview with The Verge. The digital world will even include many of the famous enemies and creatures found in the original Minecraft.

It is an understatement to say that Minecraft is one of the most popular games on the internet. Microsoft hopes to bring that community into the next era of augmented reality. If they succeed in their ambition, all Minecraft users will share a server, and all can view creations in their local communities.

A massive building created by a user could stand next to massive skyscrapers in the real world. You could build creations in your back yard for all to see or, as the trailer shows, create things on top of your house.

Now if you are imagining someone standing around for hours building something do not worry. Microsoft is adding in a feature that lets you create a small version of your creation at home and then expand into the actual world somewhere else. You would only have to leave to go harvest more materials.

Where this does promote healthy exercise as Pokemon Go did the company wants the game to be more. The idea of entire communities forming in massive group projects is evident in the game’s design.

“It’s not just a geocaching game with 2% of it in AR. We decided to go head first and build the game from the ground up as an experience that you play both in your immediate environment, and out in the world, in parks and cities, wherever you are,” said Olafsson. Although Minecraft Earth stands in the footsteps of Pokemon Go, the creators want it to be so much more.

Minecraft Earth will inevitably be the same game that all the fans know, but the company is putting a significant emphasis on interacting with the real world. You can sign up for the early release happening later this year on the official site. The game will be available on both Android and iOS devices.