Long-Promised Minecraft Graphical Overhaul Is Cancelled

Screenshot: Microsoft, Minecraft

Mojang announced Tuesday morning that it has ceased development on Minecraft’s Super Duper Graphics Pack, citing technical difficulties. It’s been just over two years since the feature was announced on stage at E3 2017.

“Some of you might remember us announcing the Super Duper Graphics Pack during E3 2017,” the studio announced on its website. “Super Duper was an ambitious initiative that brought a new look to Minecraft but, unfortunately, the pack proved too technically demanding to implement as planned.”

Mojang’s statement went on to say that the studio wasn’t happy with how the update was performing across the different platforms Minecraft on which is currently available, which range from Xbox One X to smartphones. Mojang is instead “looking into other ways for you to experience Minecraft with a new look.”

The Super Duper Graphics Pack, which was going to add new textures and visual effects to the game, including on Xbox One X where it would run in 4K, was originally slated to release in spring of 2017, but was ultimately delayed until 2018. It didn’t arrive that year either, however, leaving Minecraft fans to wonder what had happened to the project.

While Tuesday’s announcement is the first time Mojang has addressed the issues with the Graphics Pack in an official statement from the studio at large, individual developers at the company have previously spoken out on Reddit and elsewhere, explaining the problems the development team was facing, including needing to rewrite much of the graphics portion of the game’s Bedrock Engine from scratch to accommodate the potential improvements.

Minecraft is the only first-party Microsoft game not to have Xbox One X enhancements, and it’s unclear whether this is the end of the road when it comes to that.

“We’ve been trying to solve Super Duper for a long time,” a spokesperson for Mojang told Kotaku in an email. “We wanted to wait until we determined the path forward before officially addressing the project. We’re looking into different options with our Render Dragon graphics engine, and will have more to share soon.”


    What I find most amazing is how, despite having been purchased for billions of dollars and owned by one of the world's largest companies, development of Minecraft hasn't noticeably accelerated from what we were seeing from the original half a dozen person pre-Microsoft dev team.

    I don't get it. There are lots of shader enhancements for the PC version, it's just that because they're not official they break each time there's an update. But they work. Why can't Microsoft get them to work reliably?

    more like, hey lets just wait for next gen and release a new version of the game

    Let me translate: "we couldn't do what modders had already done many years ago, because no one on the Minecraft team knows how to program a game"

    Yep, just make Minecraft 2 already... and not in Java ;)

      Java was never the problem, Notch's shitty programming was. Besides, the bedrock edition (which this overhaul was intended for) is written in C++.

    Minecraft itself was a good game, much better with mods, then MS took over and everything seems to have dropped to the floor. You have to pay for stuff relating to MS based game play (mods, graphics upgrades), mods require another app to run the java based original game, and console?, well who knows what's going on there. Hell all they need to do is go to Square Enix and beg for DQ Builder type game, as that is a much better game if your actually looking for a game in general.

    Very disappointing but not unexpected. This was a reason for buying an Xbox One X at the time it was announced. (I'm certainly not disappointed in that console - Assassins Creed Origins and Odyssey and Forza in HDR 4K, dear god wow!) I'm guessing they could have done it just on the X, but didn't want to split the community.

    I wouldn't have believed two years ago that my son could now log onto xbox live on his switch and join my minecraft world on xbox... and that this cosmetic upgrade never made it. Clearly their priorities have changed.

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