How Future of Minecraft wants to stay exciting for 50 years?
The big update, The Wild, has been released, and Minecraft is starting a new chapter. But what’s next after that? In an exclusive interview, the developers reveal their visions for the future.
It’s been thirteen years since Minecraft first saw the light of day in an unfinished version, almost accidentally creating the Early Access trend. It’s been twelve years since we at KidsGaming finally wrote a test for the sandbox megahit – and we promise a rating soon. Sure, it’s not finished yet.
It’s been just six years since we at Here noticed that nobody had reviewed Minecraft since then – and we ruefully follow up with a Minecraft review that finally gives the phenomenon its deserved platinum award.
It’s been a few hours since the next major update sent The Wild Minecraft into a new chapter. Because even 13 years after its release, Minecraft, with 141 million monthly players, is a fundamental block in the gaming landscape. Of course, the sandbox won’t go away anytime soon. But have you ever wondered what Minecraft might look like in 50 years?
We exclusively peppered Game Director Agnes Larsson and Gameplay Developer Ulraf Vakninthe with questions – and revealed their plans for the future of Minecraft.
How will they guarantee that Minecraft will still be exciting in 50 years without losing its identity? What options do you have to modernize the graphics? Are there any plans to merge the Bedrock and Java versions into one big Minecraft? And what can you already tell us about upcoming updates? Grab a chunky coffee mug and settle into your block chair as we learn all about the future of our favorite block game.
Minecraft will change – but how much?
When we ask Game Director Agnes Larsson about the future of Minecraft, she already has a surprising answer ready: We have a real long-term vision. We want to continue developing Minecraft for 50 years or more. A big goal considering how short-lived service games can be these days. So how do the developers plan to do that?
The most important thing is to focus on long-term quality and the players’ trust. That means Minecraft should constantly evolve, become more modern and get more content, but never lose sight of why we love Minecraft. Everything we add should be respectful of what’s already there. We want to preserve the magic of Minecraft. Gameplay Developer, Ulraf Vakninthe tells us exactly how this has worked for so long:
We look at upcoming updates this way: we never want it to feel like something new being glued onto the game. It could always have been in the world, and you just haven’t found it yet. You just never went deep enough. So it will always feel like it’s always been there. Like a part of the game Minecraft always was. I think that’s a lovely way of looking at it. We’re not adding anything, and we’re just expanding on what’s already there.
In the end, Minecraft should not lose its identity because Agnes Larsson hopes that Minecraft will find its fans from generation to generation:
I think it’s a bit like Lego. My mom used to play with Lego bricks when she was a kid, and then I could play with the same bricks, and now my daughter can. But we’re always adding new sets and combining them into one incredible experience.
I hope that in 50 years, you will be able to play in the same Minecraft world as you do today. There will be plenty of new content, but the old familiar things are still there. It should develop – not change.
Incidentally, the situation is similar to the graphics of Minecraft – which has been smiled at and hotly discussed since its release.
This is how the graphics could change.
In his big follow-up test, colleague Micha called the Minecraft graphics a simple block look. There were only two out of five points for the presentation. For years, numerous shaders and texture packs have been intended to remedy this and sometimes turn Minecraft into a real feast for the eyes and hardware eaters. Videos made by modders show what Minecraft would look like in a realistic look. But one thing always stays the same: the blocks. After all, they’re not just the game’s visual identity. And they’re the essential part of the gameplay.
When Agnes Larsson talks to us about her vision of Minecraft in 50 years, she suddenly says: I would hope that it will look more modern then, after all this time. But is that even possible? What are the graphic possibilities of this old ham? Ulf Vakninthe can answer that for us:
We are limited by absolutely nothing but our own artistic rules. Technically, however, we have no limits. There are things we feel we never really want to change because they’re critical to the Minecraft experience. Last year we added shader support to the Java edition. There’s the RTX initiative for Bedrock. We’re very open to evolving the Minecraft look.
Minecraft doesn’t look photorealistic, not because we have technical limitations. It seems like it looks because that’s exactly how we love it. That’s just his identity, which we want to keep. But within this identity, we are very open to all changes.
What about upcoming updates?
When it comes to upcoming updates after The Wild, the two still keep a low profile. However, they tell us that we are already working on the next update and looking forward to it. It could also be that some of the features from The Wild that have been canceled for the time being will still find their way into Minecraft, even if the developers do not promise anything here. However, they say that deleted features often end up in their library for upcoming ideas, which they draw on for future updates.
Player feedback, community ideas, and even mods also significantly impact upcoming content. Ulraf Vakninthe tells us:
Sometimes we see a mod that becomes very big and popular. And then we know what the community finds exciting about it. It’s not about looking at a specific block, and it’s about asking yourself: what kind of experience does this mod offer, and how would that fit into vanilla Minecraft?
When it comes to deciding on a new idea, the needs of the players come first. An important question is: what was the last update and what type of player was it tailored to? The next update will usually offer something entirely different to make survival purists and Schönbauer happy. And when it comes to the big question of faith, whether it’s Bedrock or Java, no one should be neglected.
Bedrock vs Java: What’s Next?
Because our interlocutors are amazingly willing to provide information in the interview, we get cocky and ask the big question: Are there any plans to combine the Java and Bedrock versions of Minecraft into one at some point? Gameplay developer Ulraf Vakninthe has to smile at the question. He’s probably not hearing it for the first time.
But in fact, the team is currently focusing on bringing both versions as close as possible to each other. Although both get different technical advantages (the mod community uses Java, Bedrock brings the Marketplace), they should offer the same experience in terms of gameplay. However, there are no plans to combine both versions or stop supporting one of them.
I think it’s important to say that because I keep hearing this myth. When we talk about 50 years in the future, we’re talking about Java and Bedrock. Neither version will go away, and we love them both.
However, there is a big vision: let Java and Bedrock players finally play together. This is currently only possible via detours and plugins, and according to Vakninthe, that would be a huge technical challenge – which is not even planned at the moment. However, a common multiplayer experience for Java and Bedrock fans would be his wish for the distant future.
Regardless of how Minecraft develops, we’re excited to see what we can share with you in 2072. But we’re not going to wait another seven years for the next time we talk about Minecraft.