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"I never really wanted to make a Pokemon Go clone" – Mojang details its augmented reality future with Minecraft Earth

(Image credit: Future)

What's next for Minecraft (opens in new tab)? It's a question many have asked since Microsoft took ownership of the IP back in 2014 for $2.5 billion, but few have been able to come up with a concrete answer. Now, with Minecraft Earth on the near horizon, it would look as if developer Mojang is setting its sights on conquering the planet – taking Minecraft away from the screen and out into the world.  

Edge Magazine (opens in new tab) sat down with the Redmond contingent of Mojang to uncover the design philosophy at the heart of Minecraft Earth, the studio's wild augmented reality experiment. In spite of what you might believe, Minecraft isn't a mere Pokemon Go imitation. In fact, Mojang is eager to establish that the comparison couldn't be further off the mark. "I never really wanted to make a Pokemon Go clone. I wanted to do something that felt more true to Minecraft, but also added something to mankind, in a sense," Jens Bergensten tells Edge, the chief creative officer charged with pushing Minecraft into every smartphone in the world. 

Edge 337

(Image credit: Future)

Edge Magazine has exclusive details on Minecraft Earth. To learn how the game was made and how Mojang overcame a litany of technical hurdles to make it happen, pick up a copy of Edge 337 from MyFavouriteMagazines (opens in new tab)

Edge 337 dives into the creation of Minecraft Earth and explores the unique challenges that Mojang has had to overcome in an effort to manage this game of limitless potential creeping out of your screen and into the real world. As the article outlines, it's been a complicated journey, but one Mojang has been committed to seeing through. Much like the static version of Minecraft that is contained to your PC or console, there's a simple vision at the heart of Minecraft Earth – it's just a little more ambitious than the one outlined back at launch in 2011. 

"Minecraft Earth is a dream we've had for a long time," executive producer Jesse Merriam tells Edge. "When we were kids, we could create portals into other worlds; pick up sticks, and use them for like, a hundred things. We're bringing that back with Minecraft Earth, and that's always been the dream. How do we get people into Minecraft? Well, what if immersion was the way it felt when you were seven?" 

Edge 337 (opens in new tab) in on-sale September 12, 2019. In it, you'll find the full 14-page exploration of Minecraft Earth, as well as lots of other industry-defining analysis, coverage, and criticism. 

Josh West is Features Editor of GamesRadar+. With over 10 years experience in both online and print journalism, Josh has written for a number of gaming, entertainment, music, and tech publications, including 3D Artist, Edge, gamesTM, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. He holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing, has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh plays bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.