Minecraft Earth Won’t Have Loot Boxes

Minecraft Earth Won’t Have Loot Boxes

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?

• No.

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.


  • I wouldn’t say Pokemon Go has loot boxes either. While it has “boxes” you can buy from its in-game store, they aren’t random reward. You know exactly what you’ll get, and it is the same thing every time you purchase it. So I’d just class that as a bundle.

  • I still maintain that Pokemon Go was never an AR game. It has optional AR elements, but those can be switched off.

    • I’d say it’s AR because it relies on elements of the real world, as well as your physical position, to function. You can turn off the AR camera, but without that proximity and ability to track where you are IRL, the game doesn’t work.

      • But that’s just it, the game relies on real-world elements, but it doesn’t blend those elements with the real world. It does not “augment” reality, it uses reality to augment itself.
        By that measurement, Boktai (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boktai:_The_Sun_Is_in_Your_Hand) is an AR game because it uses light from the real world.
        Hell, Pokemon Gold & Silver are AR games because they use real-world time of day.

        That’s fine if that’s how you want to classify AR, but I prefer to think of AR as digital elements overlaying the real world.

        @mrtaco ‘s suggestion of Laser Tag I think would qualify as AR under my definition, as it overlays sights and sounds over the real world to bring the game into existence. It “augments” reality.

        • Wait what fancy places have you been going to that overlay digital elements onto your sight? Most laser tag I’ve seen is just regular reality 😛

          • Just the regular ones that play digital sounds to indicate bullets flying and people dying. It’s audio augmented reality, not visual.
            Zombies, run! would fall in the same category.

      • How does Ingress augment reality?
        I’m not trying to be contrary here, but I genuinely don’t understand how it augments reality, and want to understand your point of view.
        Ingress uses a real-world map, and real-world location to build the game world and your location in it, which to my perception means it uses reality to augment the game – not the other way around.

        • The game is built on the real world. Then other stuff is built on top of that in the game. So your reality is augmented or added to. Simple statue? No it’s a portal emitting exotic matter, mind control or whatever.

          • Fair enough, I get that. It’s not so much a visual or audio augmentation, more like a… I don’t know what word I’m going for here. Perceptual augmentation? You perceive the world differently because that statue is a Portal?

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!