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Minecraft Gets Augmented Reality Edition Owing to Microsoft Initiative

The game which has a sizeable player base will explore a new avenue with this development. Minecraft is one of the most popular games enjoyed by millions of children across the globe. It has a distinct old-fashioned look and offers engaging gameplay that some might consider frivolous.

Yet, the game had witnessed a massive development with tech giant Microsoft coming into the fold. Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, was bought out by Microsoft for a sum of $2.5 billion about a year back. However, the game has remained relatively stagnant from a development point of view. It still has a huge community of global players.

As a brand Minecraft appeals mostly to the younger age groups. Following the buyout, Microsoft is looking forward to diversify the brand’s reach with the aid of immersive technology. Minecraft Earth, which offers an augmented reality (AR) gaming experience to users, was revealed to members of the press during the Microsoft Build conference.

Image: Microsoft

Augmented reality is a technology that warps reality by inserting superimposed CGI elements within real-world settings. As far as the experience goes, Minecraft Earth players can expect to get an experience somewhat similar to another popular game, Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go is a game that also augments reality by bringing in widely-popular Pokemon characters into real-life settings. Players are able to capture the Pokemons before them, and might also experience intrusions from certain characters in different settings.

It is a highly engaging game that grips users and even makes them inattentive of the real-world settings they are in. Pokemon Go showed the world what can be achieved with the intelligent and creative use of AR. According to Geekwire reports, Microsoft is aiming to offer an even more enhanced experience with the Minecraft Earth game.

Torfi Olafsson, Game Director at Minecraft, explained that the immersive version of Minecraft is more than a simple geocaching experience with minimal AR elements. She elaborated that the developers aimed to develop the game from scratch, to deliver an experience that users can enjoy both in outdoor and indoor settings.

Image: Microsoft

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Minecraft Earth has set its target on outdoing the social experience offered by its competitor Pokemon Go. An example of this is a task that demands two users be within the same enclosed space in the real world. Players must understand that Minecraft Earth is not a reboot of Minecraft, but a vivid experience a fresh setting that simplifies learning for novices.

According to Olafsson, the entire concept of the new Minecraft game is centred around offering a social experience. It will be put to the test sometime during summer this year.

By bringing a significantly popular game into a new immersive platform, Microsoft might be looking towards achieving AR success. It is also a way for the company to open up augmented reality to the masses and bring its considerable AR technology investments to fruition.

Minecraft Earth is being considered as a gateway to AR for a large global user base.

Image: Microsoft

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