The ongoing pandemic situation has not been kind to the tech industry. Apart from the global slowdown, it had a major impact on business and products that required the free movement of individuals. Case in point is Microsoft’s Minecraft Earth AR game that was launched in 2019 and as the governments across the globe are struggling with their fight with the pandemic, Microsoft has pulled the shutters down for Minecraft Earth AR.
To recall, Minecraft Earth is a free to play AR game similar to Pokemon Go but was designed around collaboratively building structures in augmented reality. It crossed over a million downloads within the first week of its announcement and was even listed in Time magazine as one of its Best 100 Inventions of 2019. However, both Pokemon Go and Minecraft Earth AR had suffered a drastic drop in the engagement due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Minecraft Earth will be closing down in June 2021. Please read our full message below for details. We appreciate all the support from the community!🌍 https://t.co/RqMPIwOSkC pic.twitter.com/Ph2x8isf1gJanuary 5, 2021
In an official blog post (opens in new tab), Microsoft has stated that the company decided to end support for the AR game and re-allocate the resources for other tasks. According to the announcement, the game needed free movement and collaborative play of the users which is impossible in these testing times.
The company says that it will discontinue all the content and service support for the AR game on June 30. Users will not be able to download or play the game from July 1 and Microsoft will “delete any Minecraft Earth player data unrelated to Character Creator and Minecoin entitlements.”
Also, all the real money transactions and all the completed or unreleased content will be removed starting today. As the developers are working on the game till June and the final update before the shutdown is being released.
As a bonus, players who’ve already bought the in-game currency are being offered Minecoins that can be used on the Minecraft Marketplace to purchase various add-ons or mini-games. Also, Microsoft is offering a free copy of Minecraft (the Bedrock version) to all the users who’ve made a purchase in Minecraft Earth.