Harry Potter and Pokemon have crossed the AR rubicon, so naturally it made sense that Minecraft would follow suit. But while both of those games are beset with the kinds of microtransactional models you'd expect from mobile games, Minecraft Earth is at least avoiding one of the worst elements.
In a FAQ following the announcement of Mojang's AR conversion of Minecraft, the company had a very simple answer on the topic of loot boxes:
Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?
It's one of the few concrete details we know about the game, although in an interview with press the Minecraft Earth indicated that other objects, skins and in-game currency would be available for sale.
Minecraft Earth is an adaptation of Minecraft, rather than an AR port of the existing game. The key hook is that players will be able to invite other players to collaborate on builds which can then be blown up to a life-size scale and shared with others once complete.
It's worth setting some expectations for Minecraft Earth: the game is still absurdly popular. More people searched for Minecraft on YouTube in 2017 that cat videos or any music video, according to Minecraft executive producer Jesse Merriam in an Engadget interview.
What happens when all those people—and families that bond over Minecraft—can walk around and rebuild their local park? Or transform a local construction site into, oh I don't know, Destiny?
This could get real wild. Minecraft Earth hits a closed beta later this winter; You can try your luck at getting in through the registration form here.