After teasing the announcement during its Build 2019 keynote, Microsoft has officially announced Minecraft Earth, a new augmented reality (AR) game in the style of Pokemon Go for iOS and Android devices.
The announcement was made today – on the game’s 10-year anniversary – and Microsoft says that Minecraft Earth will go into beta this summer (June - August) with pre-registration available now on Minecraft Earth's website.
What makes Minecraft Earth different from the other AR games like Pokemon Go or Harry Potter Wizards Unite is that, instead of collecting or battling iconic monsters, Minecraft Earth is putting a heavy emphasis on collaborative building – i.e. the thing that made Minecraft so famous in the first place.
According to early details on the game, players will collect resources while walking around their neighborhoods which can then be used in either small-scale construction projects with friends or life-size collaborations with anyone else in your neighborhood.
While the foundation of the game seems to be set around the construction aspect, there will also be a survival aspect to the game where you have to fend off creeps, and a cultivation system where mobs (Minecraft’s term for animals) can be crossbred to create new creatures for either your public or private creations.
Minecraft Earth will be free-to-play and, according to its pithy FAQ, Microsoft doesn’t plan on implementing any sort of loot box system for the game – though we expect there to be some form of micro-transactions sometime down the road. Check out the first trailer for the game below.
- Will we see Minecraft Earth at E3 2019? Only time will tell...
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Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.