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How Minecraft Earth Can Get AR Gaming Right

Improving on the mistakes of Pokémon Go.

May 20, 2019

By: Max Cannon

While Pokémon Go may have briefly taken the world by storm with its excellent merging of a world-famous property with our real world through your phone's camera, it looks like we'll be seeing another big brand take a crack at the genre. The folks over at Microsoft have recently revealed Minecraft Earth which could bring the creativity of the standard game alongside that real world exploration that made Pokémon Go such a spectacular sensation. However, though things started out strong with Pokémon Go it wasn't able to maintain its popularity for more than a few months, so what can Minecraft Earth do to keep players playing? Here are our thoughts.

Minecraft Earth could easily make the same mistakes as similar games, or stand out from the competition.Minecraft Earth could easily make the same mistakes as similar games, or stand out from the competition.

Giving Players Exactly What They Want

There are going to be unavoidale comparisons between Pokémon Go and Minecraft Earth, considering the new-ground being broken in this genre. While players likely had some grand ideas in their head about what Pokemon Go would be after the announcement was made, battling others with their caught creatures and teaching them new moves just as they did in the original games, the AR-enabled game kept things safe and light on features. While there was a lot to like about the ideas in Pokemon Go, it's clear that the game didn't exactly meet the wildest expectations of many players and Minecraft Earth is going to need to nail it.

Minecraft Meets Reality - Kidzworld Weekly News


Players want to build creations on their PC or Xbox and see them in the real world, they want to build a structure in their backyard and have their parents see it on their own device when looking out the window. If it's an expected part of the traditional Minecraft experience then the developers will need to find a way to fulfil players' expectations in Minecraft Earth. If we're missing out on the Minecraft experience then we won't have much of a reason to make return trips to the game. Give players a new way to enjoy the game they'd once loved, and we'll have something to really be excited about.

Exploring your neighborhood could be a new way to see the creations of your community.Exploring your neighborhood could be a new way to see the creations of your community.

Keep It Fun

Mobile games have a tendency to keep finding excuses to ask players for more and more money, fortunately Minecraft Earth is taking a stance against this practice. As indicated on their website on the FAQ, Minecraft Earth will not have loot boxes in the game. If you're unfamiiliar, loot boxes have been taking over the games industry in recent years. In games you may see a special cosmetic item you'd like -- a character skin, weapon appearance, etc -- and to get it you'll need to purchase a loot box which will give you a random item, for a fee. What makes these boxes so upsetting is that the item you'll get from the box is completely random, there's no guarantee it'll be the one you want. This is especially upsetting considering the real-world money you're often spending. While gamers have been upset by their appearances in the game, many big-name publishers have indicated that they make too much money to actually remove them. This decision on the behalf of Minecraft Earth is a surprising move that gives a lot of confidence to skeptical players, like myself.

Loot boxes are in many popular games but they aren't always popular with players.Loot boxes are in many popular games but they aren't always popular with players.

Avoiding any sneaky ways to snag a couple bucks could suggest that the developers are truly focused on making a game that has players sticking around because they love the gameplay, not because they enjoy spending money. We'll need to see more from the game than the brief teaser released last week, which will likely make an appearance during Microsoft's E3 show toward the beginning of June. When we get that deeper look, keep an eye on Kidzworld for the full details.

Share Your Thoughts!

Are you looking forward to Minecraft Earth? Or would you rather stick with the traditional Minecraft experience?