New information was released last Saturday at Minecon 2019 concerning the upcoming AR game, Minecraft Earth. Microsoft announced that the game will begin an early access launch in October. Microsoft also revealed that Minecraft’s next update will be called the Nether update which will include a race of gold loving creatures known as Piglins. They will act hostile to players whenever they open chests and will attack as a mob. The update will also add a new resource known as “Honey Block” to go with the recent addition of bees and beehives in Minecraft.
According to Polygon, the early access version of Minecraft Earth will have, “a minimum feature set for a great player experience,” with new features being added next year. Minecraft Earth will allow players to enjoy the world of Minecraft through their iOS and Android phones. Players will be able to gather resources from the real world by tapping on their screen. Players can then build their own worlds on objects known as “build plates” which can be earned or purchased. Microsoft stated that the reason for this early release is so that, “both so that the community can enjoy it and also so that they can help us shape the game’s growth and functionality, moving forward.” Players will become both consumers and testers contributing to the improvement of the game on a world-wide level.
There is currently a free-to-play closed beta of Minecraft Earth available in a number of cities across the world including Stockholm, Seattle, and Tokyo. In a statement about how the game will be distributed, Microsoft said that they would release the game in a few small markets and once they do well in those markets they will, ” add more and more countries every few days/weeks until eventually we’re worldwide by this holiday.” There is no information on the release date of the Nether Update, however, Minecraft Earth will start to become available in October for both the iOS and the Android.