While Microsoft already has a massive presence in mobile gaming, indeed, with Minecraft itself, Redmond is exploring what comes next for the franchise, and we were lucky enough to be among the first to get a glimpse at the mysterious "Project Genoa".
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Minecraft today, Mojang and Microsoft announced a new title in the franchise that will be heading to your mobile device in the future. They'll also be able to partake in challenges and place their creations "in" the world around them, and the reveal video implies your creations will be visible to other players in your area. Much like Pokemon Go, you will be able to go around your neighbourhood and collect things from the Minecraft world, that includes things like animals, mobs, and more.
The game is an adaptation, not a direct clone of Minecraft, but it is build on the existing Bedrock engine, which means all Minecraft behaviours and features will be present: from Redstone machines to spider spawners. In a FAQ, Microsoft says the game will not use loot boxes.
One of the most popular games in existence is getting the Pokémon Go treatment. As you take on Adventures, you'll gain experience to progress in your career.
You probably know that Minecraft is huge.
Players will be able to scratch that Pokémon Go itch by collecting, raising, and breeding mobs of your own.
The game will be released on Android and iOS, and it layers its virtual world on top of the real one.
"They have built homes in Minecraft, and so to build on the Minecraft franchise, we can't really take Minecraft away from them", Merriam said.
"Minecraft Earth features numerous mobs you know and love, along with a bunch of new ones", according to the Minecraft Earth website. It's where you can use the resources you've collected to put your own creative spin on the game.
While we don't have details just yet, it's pretty easy to speculate how monetization could work in Minecraft Earth.
Microsoft is planning to release Minecraft Earth in closed beta later this summer, although it's not clear how big that beta will be, either in terms of player count or geographically.