Niantic’s augmented reality (AR) mobile experience Pokémon GO continues to be a revenue juggernaut, even thriving amid the pandemic. Unfortunately, not every mobile AR game can be Pokémon GO. Mojang Studios has learned this the hard way, as the developer has announced that it will be shutting down Minecraft Earth on June 30, 2021.
“Minecraft Earth was designed around free movement and collaborative play – two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation,” explained Mojang Studios staff on why the game is being shut down. It launched in early access back in October 2019, and the game evidently could not pivot and roll with the punches of the pandemic the way Pokémon GO could.
Nonetheless, Minecraft Earth has received one more update today, essentially removing microtransactions and maximizing accessibility in order to help the remaining player base enjoy the game as much as possible. Mojang Studios is doing the following:
- 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 Jan. 5 and June 30
Players who have ever bought anything in Minecraft Earth will receive the Minecraft Bedrock version for free, and “All players with paid ruby balances (in Earth) will be granted Minecoins, which you can use on the Minecraft Marketplace.” It’s good that Mojang isn’t leaving loyal players out in the cold.