Microsoft has brought Minecraft to every platform, but it is actually retreating from at least one device. The company announced last month that it is ending support for the block-building adventure on Apple TV. You can continue to use the game, but it will no longer get new features or cross-play compatibility.
If you boot up the game on Apple’s smart-television box, you will see the following message:
“Effective from Monday, 24 September, the Apple TV version of Minecraft will no longer be updated or supported. We’re grateful to the Apple TV community for their support, but we need to reallocate resources to the platforms that our players use the most. Don’t worry though, you can continue to play Minecraft on Apple TV, keep building in y our world, and your Marketplace purchases — including Minecoins — will continue to be available. However, we know that this experience isn’t in-line with the experience on other platforms, so we will be issuing full refunds on all purchases made within the last 90 days.”
If you would like to inquire about your refund, you can check Apple’s support page.
Is Apple TV still a viable gaming platform?
Minecraft originally debuted on Apple TV in 2016. During one of its keynote product reveals, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook proudly revealed that Minecraft would work on its updated media and gaming device. Apple pitched the Apple TV as bringing mobile gaming-like disruption to family rooms.
This hasn’t worked out.
Microsoft and The Minecraft Team didn’t try to hide why they are ending support for Minecraft on Apple TV. Not many people are playing it. The developer is spinning a lot of plates. It has the original Java version and the Bedrock development fork on consoles, Windows 10, and mobile. The studio is also building up its events and its in-game Marketplace. And with finite resources, it is cutting off Apple TV and putting more people on its ongoing and successful projects.
That move is indicative of where Apple TV is at. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for developers to put resources into a version of the game that few people are playing. That’s especially true when you could put the same resources into a product for something like the Nintendo Switch, and see a much better return on that investment.