Minecraft Earth AR game announced

Mobile title coming to iOS and Android devices later this year

Microsoft has officially announced Minecraft Earth, a new augmented reality game for mobiles.

The free-to-play title will be released on AR-capable iOS and Android devices in closed beta this summer.

“We’re committed to bringing Minecraft Earth to the entire Earth but will roll the game out gradually to ensure everyone gets the best play experience,” Microsoft said in an FAQ.

Microsoft teased Minecraft Earth last week with a video shown during the company’s Build conference in Seattle.

The AR title will bring the Minecraft franchise closer to the realm of mobile hit Pokémon Go, which has been downloaded more than 500 million times, according to its creator.

Microsoft detailed the following Minecraft Earth features on the game’s official website:

Collect! Minecraft Earth features many of the mobs you know and love, along with a bunch of new ones we can’t wait to show you. Over time, you’ll get the chance to discover unique variants, and use them to populate your builds. Minecraft pigs parading around your local park? That’s about to become your reality.
Explore! Your real-life neighbourhood is about to take on a new dimension. Gather resources, take on challenges, and experience a whole new world to discover!
Collaborate! Build even better by teaming up with other Minecraft Earth players. You can craft amazing creations together. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Survive! Sure, you’re good at fighting hostile mobs in Minecraft, but are you ready to battle Minecraft mobs in real life? Best of luck, because we’re going to put your survival skills to the test!

Today’s announcement coincides with the seminal building game’s tenth anniversary. Microsoft also said today that Minecraft sales have topped 176 million.

Rather than developing a full-blown sequel, Microsoft has stated that its primary concern is keeping the existing Minecraft community happy with updates and new versions of the game, such as the episodic Minecraft: Story Mode, upcoming dungeon crawler Minecraft Dungeons, and now Minecraft Earth.