Microsoft and Mojang Studios are pulling the plug on Minecraft Earth after less than two years of live service.
A post on Minecraft.net announced the AR game will end in June 2021, after having just launched in October 2019.
“Minecraft Earth was designed around free movement and collaborative play – two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to re-allocate our resources to other areas that provide value to the Minecraft community and to end support for Minecraft Earth in June 2021,” the blog post explains.
Developers are implementing some short term changes to the game, including the removal of all real-money transactions, to allow players to enjoy the game before it is completely discontinued at the end of June.
“On June 30, we will discontinue all content and service support for the game. This means that we will stop all development, and after that date, you will be unable to download or play Minecraft Earth anymore,” the blog post explains. “On July 1, we will delete any Minecraft Earth player data unrelated to Character Creator and Minecoin entitlements.”
Players with ruby balances “will be granted Minecoins” to use in the Minecraft Marketplace.
We hope that the decision to “re-allocate” resources means that a virtual reality version of Minecraft becomes a higher priority at Microsoft and Mojang. In mid-2020 Minecraft’s RenderDragon rendering engine was announced as having support for OpenXR — a specification that’s seeing broad industry support. While OpenXR adoption is still pretty early, we believe Microsoft likely sees it as a requirement to bring Minecraft to Oculus Quest.