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Minecraft Earth will be shut down in June 2021

The promising AR spin-off from the Minecraft Earth franchise is ending prematurely after the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the games industry is one that has managed to weather the COVID-19 pandemic better than others, the ongoing effects of the pandemic have continued to make some aspects of game development a little more difficult. In particular, Microsoft and Mojang's Minecraft Earth - an augmented reality-focused spin-off of the franchise similar to Pokemon GO - is an example of this as the promising mobile game comes to an end this summer.

Microsoft has announced that Minecraft Earth will officially close on June 30, 2021, ending the AR mobile game a little over a year and a half after its first debut. Specifically, Microsoft stated in a statement that the mobile app shutdown was in large part due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the game was "designed for free movement and collaborative gaming - two things that The current global situation has become almost impossible in the EU. "

After many great adventures, we made the difficult decision to close Minecraft Earth in June 2021. We're very grateful for your support, and today's final build includes several tweaks to make these last few months as fun as possible:

↣ https://t.co/D9fEGuOoqX ↢ pic.twitter.com/KyHIToSrsI

- Minecraft (@Minecraft) January 5, 2021

In a blog post announcing the end of support, Microsoft announced that the final update for Minecraft Earth was released today. This will give players one final push to enjoy the game for the next 6 months before it shuts down. The update includes removing all real money microtransactions from the game, as well as reducing the time it takes to craft, lowering the cost of rubies, and making a number of new items available for use in Character Creator.

While the game will be permanently closed from July 1, 2021, Microsoft has determined that all players with a remaining Ruby balance will be given an equivalent amount of Minecoins to be used on the Minecraft Marketplace. Additionally, players who have ever made a purchase in the mobile game will receive a free copy of the Bedrock version of Minecraft for mobile.

Minecraft Earth is available now for iOS and Android.