Minecraft Earth Will Be Shutting Down in June 2021
The promising AR spinoff of the franchise, Minecraft Earth, is coming to an early end in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the games industry is one industry that has managed to weather the COVID-19 pandemic better than others, the lasting effects of the pandemic have continued to make some aspects of game development a bit difficult. Notably, Microsoft and Mojang’s Minecraft Earth–an augmented reality-focused spin-off of the franchise similar to Pokemon GO–is one example of this, as the promising mobile game is coming to an end this summer.
Microsoft has announced that Minecraft Earth will officially be shutting down on June 30, 2021, bringing the AR mobile game to an end just over a year and a half after its initial debut. Specifically, Microsoft detailed in a statement that the mobile app’s shutdown is due in large part to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the game “was designed around free movement and collaborative play – two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation.”
After many great adventures, we’ve made the difficult decision to close down Minecraft Earth in June 2021. We’re so grateful for all your support, and today’s last build includes several adjustments to make these last months as fun as possible:
— Minecraft (@Minecraft) January 5, 2021
In a blog post announcing its end of support, Microsoft detailed that the final update for Minecraft Earth has been released today, which will give one last push for players to enjoy the game for the next 6 months before being shut down. The update will include removing all real-money microtransactions from the game alongside reducing time requirements for crafting, lowering ruby costs, and providing players with a set of new items to use in the Character Creator.
While the game will be shut down for good starting on July 1, 2021, Microsoft noted that any players with a remaining balance of ruby will be given a corresponding amount of Minecoins, which will be able to be used in the Minecraft Marketplace. Additionally, players that have ever made a purchase in the mobile game will also be given a free copy of the Bedrock version of Minecraft for mobile.
Minecraft Earth is available now on iOS and Android.