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Minecraft Dungeons player count passes 10 million across all platforms
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Mojang Studios' Minecraft spin-off from last year, Minecraft Dungeons, has now surpassed the impressive 10 million player milestone less than a year after its launch. The title has seen a healthy number of updates and DLC since its arrival, and the studio is currently preparing to release the next content drop later this month.
The cooperative dungeon crawler released in May 2020 for the PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 promising a different take on the studio's massively popular block-based sensation that is Minecraft. Xbox Game Pass subscribers on PC and Xbox consoles are also a part of this massive 10 million player number, but the studio didn't provide a breakdown on how each platform has fared.
However, Mojang did share some numbers on how the 10-million strong community has spent their time in the game. The Arch-Illager has been defeated 5,934,629 times since the launch of the game, while the Redstone Monstrosity has been taken down 7,044,521, though that's out of 19,511,994 attempts. Players have also spent a combined total of 1141 years in the Camp hub area.
Celebrating the milestone, Mojang is releasing a cape and a pet for all Minecraft Dungeons players for free, which will appear in everyone's inventories on February 24. This is the same day that the new six-mission strong Flames of the Nether DLC will land alongside a hefty base game update. Find details on the DLC pack and the update over here.
Minecraft Dungeons' next DLC pack takes players to the Nether on February 24
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Mojang Studios today announced Flames of the Nether, the latest downloadable content pack heading to Minecraft Dungeons. As the name should have already clued Minecraft fans in, this pack will finally take players to the Nether to experience new themed missions, items, cosmetics, and more. There is also a content-packed free update coming in.
Unlike previous DLC packs that showed up with three missions, this one carries six missions where players will face mobs from the various biomes of the Nether. New artifacts, weapons, gear, as well as two new skins and a Baby Ghast pet are included in the pack as well.
Mojang will be launching a massive free update to the base game alongside the DLC pack as well. This free content will introduce Ancient Hunts as a new feature, which are procedurally-generated end-game missions that offer "top-tier Gilded gear" for defeating difficult Ancient Mobs.
Ancient Hunts will also grant Gold, a new currency that will revolve around the new Piglin merchant incoming to the game. More information about this merchant, as well as changes coming to the Apocalypse Plus difficulty, will be revealed later.
Flames of the Nether and the game update will land on February 24 for the PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 versions of the title. The DLC pack will be available as a separate purchase as well as a part of the Minecraft Dungeons season pass. The dungeon crawler spin-off from last year based on Mojang's block-based sensation has so far received three DLC packs: Jungle Awakens, Creeping Winter, and Howling Peaks.
Minecraft Earth is shutting down before it's even two years old
by João Carrasqueira
This may come as a shock to some, but Minecraft Earth still exists ever since it launched in October of 2019. However, that's set to change soon, as Microsoft-owned Mojang Studios announced today.
Minecraft Earth is an augmented reality game for smartphones based on the popular block-based open-world title. It was first announced in May 2019, and shown off live at Apple's WWDC that year. A public beta opened later that year, but the title seemingly failed to gain significant traction. The game allowed players to see Minecraft characters and environments in the real world, making use of the typical crafting mechanics to build out their inventory and explore further.
As of today, all paid transactions have been removed from the game, and many mechanics of the game have been made easier or more accessible so players can experience them before the game shuts down. Here's the full list of changes:
The game will shut down on June 30, after which date the game will be unavailable to download. The day after, all player data except Character Creator and Minecoin entitlements will be deleted. Players with rubies left in the game will have them converted to Minecoins, which can be used to purchase paid items in console and PC versions of Minecraft. Additionally, anyone who has spent money on Minecraft Earth will be given a copy of Minecraft proper.
It seems like Microsoft's mobile titles haven't been terribly successful, as just a few months ago, Gears Pop! suffered a similar fate in a similarly short period of time. As a reminder, servers for that game will be online until April 26.
By Hamza Jawad
Minecraft Marketplace New Year's Sale now live
by Hamza Jawad
Earlier this month, Minecraft with RTX left the beta stage, becoming available for Windows 10 players. A couple of weeks before Mojang and Nvidia's technical achievement, meanwhile, a Star Wars DLC themed after the fictional universe's original trilogy and The Mandalorian TV series was released in the Marketplace.
Now, with the holiday season having arrived, the Minecraft Marketplace New Year's Sale has gone live, bringing a flurry of discounts, and some freebies for good measure.
For starters, the "doorbusters" feature introduced at last year's 'Block' Friday sale is being brought back. These are essentially flash sales arriving in the form of two daily deals per day at 75% off for each item. The discounts this time around will be focused on creator content. Aside from this, up to 100 regular items will also be available at 33% off for the duration of the New Year's Sale. Notably, these regular items will refresh halfway through the sale, so make sure to keep that in mind if something catches your eye.
Finally, Tetrascape's New Year's 2021 skin pack is being offered to players for free. The item boasts traditional outfits from Brazil, South Africa, Phillipines, North America, and the United Kingdom. It can be claimed here.
Minecraft's New Year's Sale will be continuing from December 22 through January 4. The aforementioned midway refresh will take place on December 29, which marks the end of the sale's first week.
Nvidia 460.79 WHQL driver brings Cyberpunk 2077 and Minecraft with RTX support
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Cyberpunk 2077 is hours away from launch and Nvidia graphics card owners that will be jumping into the game now have a new Game Ready driver waiting for them with support for the title.
The new WHQL-certified 460.79 driver is a recommended install before playing CD Projekt RED's latest title, which features DLSS and ray tracing support exclusively on Nvidia RTX cards at launch. The latter feature will likely be extended to the new AMD ray tracing-capable GPUs at a later date.
Moreover, the driver delivers optimizations for the 'Minecraft with RTX' feature set that released out of beta just yesterday. The Bedrock Windows 10 version of the block-based sensation now offers path-traced ray tracing and DLSS for RTX-enabled Nvidia graphics cards. As the ray tracing build is now out of beta, players from other platforms can join in for cross-play also.
Over on the Nvidia Control Panel, users will now find two new options after installing this driver: Background Application Max Frame Rate control (Manage 3D Settings page) and Color Accuracy Mode (Display > Adjust Desktop Color Settings page). The G-Sync compatible monitor list has also increased by five displays, with Acer XV242Y, Acer XB273U NV, Gigabyte FI27Q-X, MSI MAG274R, and Philips 275M8RZ gaining support.
The fixed issues in this driver are as follows:
The known issues are these:
The new 460.79 WHQL-certified Game Ready driver is now available for download through the GeForce Experience app and the links below. The official release notes are here.
Download: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 | Windows 10 – Standard / DCH
Download: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 | Windows 10 - Standard / DCH