Today during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), developer Mojang showed off its upcoming Minecraft Earth AR mobile game for the first time.
Apart from the traditional Minecraft aspects of building and destroying, Minecraft Earth throws in a few wrinkles for the mobile crowd. For example, Mojang chief brand officer Lydia Winters demoed the game’s motion tracking. The feature lets your in-game avatar mimic your real-world movements.
The demo also included a feature unique to Apple’s ARKit 3: people occlusion, or the ability to show AR environments and objects behind people. Combined with ARKit 3’s new motion tracking, Minecraft Earth truly lives up to its name and literally brings people into its overlaying AR world.
People occlusion didn’t work flawlessly during Minecraft Earth’s onstage demo, however. The cutout looked laughably bad, though the motion tracking did a good job of keeping up with Winters’ movements. Also, ARKit 3 and Minecraft Earth are still months away from wide availability.
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) June 3, 2019
Still, the promise of Minecraft Earth and its social aspects give the game an opportunity to be very successful. The game’s closed beta launches this summer on Android and iOS, with players needing either a Microsoft or Xbox Live account to gain access.