Microsoft halts development of Minecraft update

A panel on Minecraft at  E3, a video game trade show in Las Vegas in June 2019
A panel on Minecraft at E3, a video game trade show in Las Vegas in June 2019

Microsoft has halted development of an ambitious update to Minecraft, throwing in the towel after concluding it was technically too complicated, according to a blog post by the team responsible for the hit adventure and construction game.

Microsoft had unveiled the project, dubbed "Super Duper Graphics Packs," to great fanfare in 2017, at E3, the world's biggest video game trade show.

"Unfortunately, the pack proved too technically demanding to implement as planned," the blog post said.

"We realize this is disappointing to some of you -– there was a lot of enthusiasm for Super Duper from inside and outside the studio –- but unfortunately, we aren't happy with how the pack performed across devices," it said.

"For this reason, we're stopping development on the pack, and looking into other ways for you to experience Minecraft with a new look,"it added.

Minecraft—with its signature pixilated characters and accessories—enables players to build entire universes either alone or with other players online. Inspired by Lego and its plastic bricks, this is immensely popular with a young public.

In May, Minecraft said 176 million versions of the game have been sold since its launch 10 years ago. In October 2018, Business Insider said the was attracting 91 million players a month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Minecraft presentation in Cologne in August 2017
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Minecraft presentation in Cologne in August 2017

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Aug 13, 2019
No one cares about Minecraft having better graphics, and if they do they can just download high res texture packs or mod Minecraft to use different shaders. That's how its done on the PC anyhow, so I guess console and mobile players are sort of screwed... too bad.

What Minecraft really needs is more items to craft and new ways to interact with NPCs. They could make more unique mobs or perhaps implement machinery into the game somehow like they do with redstone circuits and give the option to program tasks for them to do. Those last two things teach our youth very useful things! Plus a new generation of creative computer programmers is what Microsoft needs anyhow, right?

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