Earlier this year, Microsoft and developer Mojang announced the next big thing for its mega-popular game Minecraftcalled Minecraft Earth. And just like another ridiculously popular franchise, the adoption of augmented reality (AR) for the mobile experience has injected a whole new life into the title. It’s one of those, “Why didn’t they think of this sooner?” situations, but one has to imagine they were just waiting for the technology to make it worthwhile.
Whether or not it’s worth the wait, though, comes down to each player.
The fervor for Pokémon Go has died down for the most part. That isn’t to say that people aren’t still playing the game, because I know it still gets plenty of attention on a regular basis. But we’re not watching huge crowds of players running around everywhere anymore. I don’t know if Minecraft Earth is going to see the same level of adoration right out of the gate, but I have no doubt the game will see plenty of traction in its own right.
It released in early access earlier this month in the United States, and has been in the same pre-release state in several markets across the globe for a few months now. It lets players build and explore a patch of the Minecraftworld in AR right there in the real world, putting together life-size structures and interacting with the characters and animals in the game. It has a multiplayer mode and a lot to do, and I’m sure more content will be rolled out into the game in the future as well.
It’s worth noting that Minecraft Earth, and not even Pokémon Go are the first AR games for mobile devices. Titles like Ingress have been around for a long while and actually offer quite a bit to do for players. And there are plenty of others as well. But when you’ve got titles that leverage huge prosperities like Pokémon, Minecraft, and Harry Potter, AR gets a lot more attention.
Which is why, with Minecraft Earth finally sort-of launching in the United States, I’m curious to know if you actually play AR games on your phone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be all the time, but is this a technology that you’re genuinely excited about while playing a game on your phone? And do you play these games in public spaces? Let me know!