Last weekend at Minecon Earth, Microsoft and Mojang announced Minecraft: Dungeons, a dungeon crawling spin-off to one of the most successful games of all time. Minecraft enjoys around 91 million active monthly users right now and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. That being said, Business Insider still asked Microsoft’s Head of Minecraft Helen Chiang how they plan to build upon such a successful property.
They initially ask about an official sequel, a Minecraft 2 of sorts. Helen Chiang quickly shot that down though, saying that it would just fracture the community, which is the lifeblood of Minecraft:
“I really don’t think that makes sense for Minecraft, given the community. It’s something that always fractures the community…That’s why our updates our free. We don’t want to ask [players] to move from Minecraft 1 to Minecraft 2. We want them to just enjoy Minecraft.”
The topic then shifted over to the recently revealed Minecraft: Dungeons, and it was made fairly clear that spin-offs like these are where the future of the Minecraft franchise lies. The small development team at Mojang is really working to flesh out the dungeon-crawling aspect of the game, creating an experience more focused on adventuring and story than mining and crafting. This was reflected upon by Mojan Creative Lead Jens Bergentsen:
“I would say that it’s a distilled version of Minecraft in the sense that we wanted to focus on making sure that we made the dungeon crawler part as good as possible. Building in the game is something that we’ve talked about a lot, but we were concerned that it would distract from what the game was about. So in Minecraft: Dungeons, it’s strictly an adventure game with a story attached to it.”
Helen Chiang also thinks expanding like this will keep the community together and allow them to not just be iterative in the Minecraft titles they create:
“The way that we’ve decided to expand — and I think Dungeons is the first example of that — is a way that we’re trying to keep our community together…And there’s other ways that we can expand that are more meaningful and authentic to what we want to be, rather than just releasing another iteration in the way that most other franchises do.”
At this point, Minecraft is on pretty much every platform out there, while Minecraft: Dungeons will arrive on PC sometime in 2019.