Updated: May 23
A little over a week ago, Microsoft issued a teaser video which appeared to hint at the company’s plans to catch an augmented reality (AR) based game such as Pokemon GO. The trailer teased that the corporation would be launching an Augmented Reality version of Minecraft, and sure enough, they have.
Dubbed Minecraft Earth, this is a version of Minecraft that will be playable by leveraging the application of Augmented Reality technology. Speaking to The Verge in an interview, Minecraft Earth’s game director Torfi Olafsson informed that the game is more of an accommodation to Minecraft rather than just straight porting the original over to mobile and applying AR tech to it.
According to Olafsson, “We have tried to stay very true to the core design pillars of Minecraft, and we’ve worked with the design team in Stockholm to make sure that the spirit of the game is carried through.” The game will send players to investigate their areas where they will bump into Minecraft characters, variants, and “tapables” which they’ll need to collect in order to create their builds.
Olafsson adds, “We have covered the entire planet in Minecraft. Each lake is a place you can fish, each park is a place you can chop down trees. We’ve actually used maps of the entire world and converted them to Minecraft.” At present, Minecraft Earth isn’t accessible for download just yet, but the company plans on launching a closed beta for iOS and Android devices this summertime. Players who are curious can sign up here.