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July 14, 2020
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New Minecraft Earth AR game takes a cue from Pokemon Go

May 17, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

Mojang has unveiled a new Minecraft game, and it's an augmented reality mobile experience called Minecraft Earth

The title was announced at MineCon, where Mojang explained it'll be a free-to-play experience that (among other things) will task players with hunting down clusters of blocks, chests, and mobs peppered throughout the real world and creating grand AR structures with other players. 

The parallels to the massively successful Pokemon Go are clear. Minecraft Earth, like Pokemon Go, combines one of the most recognizable properties in entertainment with a mainstream-friendly mobile AR format -- the ingredients for another potential phenomenon.

The base Minecraft game has sold 176 million copies worldwide in 10 years, and has over 90 million monthly active users -- that's more than Fortnite

"In Minecraft Earth you’ll go out in the real world to find small clusters of blocks, chests or mobs called Tappables. As you walk, you will also find Adventures, which are small slices of Minecraft worlds that you play in life-size AR," explained Mojang. 

 "Your sidewalk becomes a mine where there may be diamonds under your feet, or your local park may have Minecraft trees where skeletons lurk, ready for a skirmish! Players will collect resources, fight mobs, and gain experience points to progress in their career."

Although the gameplay broad-strokes differ, Minecraft Earth seems to be taking cues from Pokemon Go, the uber-popular AR mobile game that lets players explore the real-world in search of pocket monsters, fight other players for control of gyms, and level up their favorite 'mons. 

Since launching back in July 2016, Pokemon Go has been downloaded over 750 million times, and brought in over $1.8 billion in revenue for developer Niantic. 

Mojang hasn't revealed when Minecraft Earth will be hitting digital shelves, but it has confirmed the iOS and Android title will be entering closed beta this summer.

Register now for XRDC 2019, the premier AR/VR/MR event for devs!

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