After a short time in beta, players can now pre-register Minecraft Earth on Google Play. According to a tweet from Mojang if you choose to pre-register you stand a chance at being invited into the beta, so while there’s no official release date you might be able to get in early.
If you’re not familiar with Minecraft Earth it’s an augmented reality game where you can create little Minecraft worlds on virtual tabletops and then blow them up to full size and see them in the real world. If that sounds pretty novel to you, that might be the point as Minecraft is being made to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Augmented reality seems to be on the increase following Pokemon Go’s success, though nothing has really taken off in quite the same way yet. Wizard’s Unite, the Harry Potter attempt hasn’t gripped the world in the same way Pokemon Go did. So, it will be interesting to see how Minecraft does as it’s kind of a different beast altogether.
Minecraft is a much more creative game at its core than other attempts at AR so far. It has the potential to make augmented reality art installations, decorating the real world with various creations to create very shareable images. Like building an alien spaceship near Area 51 or constructing a trebuchet in front of a castle. Whether or not people would go to all that effort for a meme though I’m not so sure.
Outside of the usual creativity side of Minecraft, there will also be adventures. These will be indicated on your map and once you go there you’ll be able to interact with them through AR, randomly generating Minecraft dioramas in real life where you can fight mobs and gather materials.
Minecraft Earth will eventually be available on both Apple and Android devices. For now, you can only pre-register on Google Play though. It will be a free-to-play game and Mojang have said that it will not contain loot boxes, though of course, that doesn’t rule out microtransactions altogether.