Microsoft’s new game is not a direct translation of Minecraft but rather, an adaptation. It’s built on the familiar Bedrock engine so, as Minecraft Earth game director Torfi Olafsson explained to The Verge, “if you like building Redstone machines, or you’re used to how the water flows, or how sand falls down, it all works.”
Microsoft purchased Minecraft creator Mojang in late 2014 for a staggering $2.5 billion. The acquisition seemed puzzling at the time but Microsoft has made the most of its investment in the years since.
Pokémon Go saw 20 million people searching for pokémon in streets worldwide back in 2016, thanks to augmented reality. Minecraft has 91 million active players, and now Microsoft wants to take the Pokémon Go concept a big step further by letting Minecraft players create and share whatever they’ve made in the game with friends in the real world, away from TV screens and monitors.
Minecraft Earth launches in beta on Android and iOS this summer.