Microsoft announced Minecraft Earth, a new augmented reality (AR) game.

Microsoft has officially announced Minecraft Earth for iOS and Android devices on the game’s 10-year anniversary – and it says that it will go into beta this summer (June – August) with pre-registration available now on Minecraft Earth’s website.

Not only will you see Minecraft collectibles and creatures out in the real world – you’ll be able to build structures in the app and view them in life-size scale.

As Pokemon Go, Minecraft Earth is made to be a social multiplayer game, with easy-to-join sessions for any nearby players. You’ll also be able to view other players’ Block Plates while venturing out into the world, as they can be permanently placed in your neighborhood. For those who want to get out there and vanquish enemies in the pursuit of experience points, you’ll be glad to know that Minecraft Earth features plenty of familiar enemy types and a few, yet-to-be-revealed new mobs.

The next big thing for augmented reality

While new mobile AR games are regularly published in the App Store and Google Play store, the market is still missing a game-changing app that’s captivating enough to push mobile AR into the mainstream, like Pokémon Go did in 2016. According to Business Insider, the AR game was downloaded more than 7.5 million times across both iOS and Android in just the first week and 750 million times in its first year.

Minecraft Earth will be free-to-play, and will surely involve microtransactions – but the Minecraft Earth FAQ firmly states that there aren’t any loot boxes. It’s set to be the next big AR game, which will help catalyze mass adoption of mobile AR.

You can get a sense for the surreal Minecraft adventures in the full reveal trailer below.


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