Mojang has announced that they are sunsetting Minecraft Earth to shut the game down later this year. The game relies on movement and socialization, something that is increasingly harder and more dangerous than ever before.
The reality is that it will likely be many months before vaccinations in the US are at acceptable levels. And that has crippled playability for mobile games in many markets. Amid political turmoil incited by Trump administration propaganda over election results, the outlook is grim. The anti-vaccination and conspiracy addled minds of the hard-right in America will likely have a lasting impact, aside from the 400,000 dead they’ve helped create. And amid all of this and so much more, it should come as no surprise that games are struggling. And it’s not just the US, all over the globe people are staying home and playing it safe, for the most part.
In a statement to fans, Mojang made their plans clear, that they plan to shutter the game after June 2021. The plan comes as it has simply become too much of a risk to continue operating the game at all.
“Minecraft Earth was designed around free movement and collaborative play—two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation,” Mojang announced today. “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.”
Anyone who’s ever made a purchase in Minecraft Earth will be given a free copy of Minecraft Bedrock Edition. They’re doing that to help thank the fans for taking the time to enjoy the mobile game.
“We want to take a moment to thank all of the players and creators that are bringing new adventures, mobs, and free in-game items for the community to enjoy while we finalize our timeline for sunsetting the game. Your feedback and creations brought this game to an entirely different level, from the regular build challenges you absolutely smashed to the incredible builds you shared on social media,” Mojang said. “We’re eternally grateful for the amazing talent in the Minecraft community. This was not an easy decision, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure you get the most out of Minecraft Earth before it sunsets.”
By following the trailer blazed by Pokémon Go, Mojang hoped to turn their biggest game and a huge social touchstone into a larger legacy, that effort obviously didn’t pan out.
The plan looks to be to keep the game in a state of suspended animation until June 30. After that date, all content and service support for Minecraft Earth will cease to function. There will be no further content added to the game leading up to this date either. Any existing copies of Minecraft Earth will also cease to function—so don’t expect scalpers to try and sell APKs or phones on Ebay, as you won’t be able to play the game at all.
The game will still be playable at a basic level, with ruby and time investment required being massively reduced. RMT will also be disabled, and any purchasable items have been unlocked for all users. Mojang has also pushed all unreleased content out into the world; as well as replacing any unused resource boosters with area-of-effect boosters instead so all players can benefit from them. That will remain in place until June 30.
The next day, all the servers will be wiped of any user data that doesn’t include character creator and Minecoin amounts. This will entitle users to claim Minecoins for the larger Minecraft marketplace on their Mojang account. These can be used to purchase any skins, textures, maps and other items on the market.