In celebration of Minecraft's ten-year anniversary, Mojang has announced Minecraft Earth, an Augmented Reality game for mobile that will let players bring their creations into the real world. The game will be available in closed beta this summer, but no release date has been announced.
Players will be able to build creations with their friends, seemingly all through the app, then view those creations using AR. The creations won't just be visible as tiny builds on the table in front of you, they will appear as they would in the real world. So a Minecraft castle can look as big as an actual castle if you want it to be. The press release also refers to them as "permanent creations", so it sounds if you are using the AR app you will see the everyone else's creations as permanent fixtures. Now that is cool. The announcement trailer above demonstrates the idea very well.
As well as building, "you’ll go out in the real world to find small clusters of blocks, chests or mobs called Tappables. As you walk, you will also find adventures which are small slices of Minecraft worlds that you play in life-size AR – your sidewalk becomes a mine where there may be diamonds under your feet, or your local park may have Minecraft trees where skeletons lurk, ready for a skirmish! Players will collect resources, fight mobs, and gain experience points to progress in their career".
"Minecraft Earth” features many of the Vanilla Minecraft mobs that our players know and love, along with new ones we can’t wait to reveal. Over time, players will get the chance to discover and collect unique variants and use them to populate builds, as well as gather resources and take on nearby challenges".
"You’ll discover exciting new mobs to use in your builds. And you may need to put your survival skills to the test as you explore a new side to your neighborhood and battle Minecraft mobs in real life!"
An FAQ on Minecraft's website reveals that Minecraft Earth will, as expected, be free to play, and will be available on iOS and Android this summer on "AR-capable devices".
The FAQ also answers the question that will seemingly never not be asked anymore, "Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?", to which they respond with a simple and definitive "No".
Kids are going to go absolutely bonkers for Minecraft Earth.