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‘Minecraft Earth’ builds out US coverage, begins public events

By AFP - Nov 18,2019 - Last updated at Nov 18,2019

Photo courtesy of Minecraft

STOCKHOLM — The number of Minecraft Earth territories grows to 10 as the augmented reality version of Minecraft is made available across the USA on iOS and Android mobile devices, while three global public events were planned for three global cities — New York, London, and Australia —on Saturday.

Minecraft Earth is now ready to play across the USA thanks to the AR mobile game’s November 12 update.

Players in the United States can play an early access version of the game on iOS and Android, joining a growing worldwide community that’s officially supported in Canada, Mexico, Iceland, the UK, Sweden, the Philippines, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The iOS game is distributed through Apple’s App Store, while the Android equivalent is hosted on Google Play.

Its players can create and superimpose interactive Minecraft scenes on top of real-world surroundings using the familiar cuboid blocks from the original computer, console and mobile game.

Viewing the world through their mobile device’s screen and using its geolocation features, they can collect virtual materials and creatures by interacting with Minecraft Earth when they are out and about, then combine resources to make impressive virtual constructions — preferably with the help of other players.

Microsoft, which owns Minecraft developer Mojang, is planning on having demonstration versions of Minecraft Earth installed in its US, Canada, London and Sydney retail stores at some point in the near future.

More immediately, a series of pop-up events has been scheduled for specific public spaces in three global cities.

Called Mobs in the Park, a reference to the generic term for Minecraft creatures known as mobs, the free experiences are planned for Hudson Yards in New York City, USA, The Queen’s Walk in London, UK, and Campbell’s Cove in Sydney, Australia.

They’re to run 10am to 7pm local time over the weekends of November 23 and 24, November 30 and December 1, with a bonus New York City day on November 29.

Life-size Minecraft statues will let players access a customised Minecraft Earth adventure, through which they can obtain a wintry Jolly Llama mob in advance of more general availability in December.

While Minecraft Earth expands its focus to building rather than virtual creature collection and territory control, as with Pokemon Go, the Mobs in the Park events further strengthen similarities between the two.

The enormously popular Pokemon Go has been holding Pokemon Go Fest events in public parks since June 2017 and Safari Zone shopping mall events since September the same year.

Pokemon Go developer Niantic launched another licensed AR game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, in June of this year.

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