Credit: Mojang/Microsoft StudiosMinecraft Earth is an augmented reality edition of the game. Pokémon Go was a revolutionary step forward for AR gaming and although millions are still playing today, its impact somehow felt limited. It's basically Minecraft on mobile, but in AR. Once dropped other gamers will be able to see and explore their friends creations.
You are able to sign up for Minecraft Earth now, if you go to the linked page and put in your Microsoft or Xbox account details, your App Store or Google Play details and a few other pieces of information. Now it's heading somewhere new: the real world.
Furthermore, in direct comparison with Pokemon GO, Minecraft Earth will feature the ability to collect animals. Microsoft isn't yet talking about how players will be invited to spend money, beyond asserting up front that there won't be "loot boxes".
You will then be able to use those to create your own worlds using "build plates" that let you create miniature versions of your world, and then expand them into a life-size creation.
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Minecraft is taking a step into the real world later in 2019, and it's looking to examples like Pokémon Go for inspiration. It will also allow for life-sized Minecraft buildings (or rooms, at least), in which users can team up and fight monsters. It's early days for Minecraft Earth, and Microsoft doesn't have all of the answers to many questions figured out just yet. In vanilla Minecraft, we have things like different colored sheep, but Earth takes the idea of variants a bit further. Beat all the enemies, and you're rewarded with useful stuff, likely to be blocks, weapons and armour.
Minecraft is a household name, and its players have a "visceral connection" to the game, said Minecraft Executive Producer Jesse Merriam.
Minecraft Earth has no set release date yet but a closed beta beginning this summer. There are no fixed timeframes as of writing as to when you can expect to get your hands on Minecraft Earth's virtual pickaxes, but we shouldn't be waiting too long. If you are having trouble escaping Minecraft now, it's going to be much harder next year.