Monday, July 06, 2015

What Happens at Minecon, Stays at Minecon

The ever expanding world of Minecraft came full circle this past weekend, as many took the pilgrimage to London to experience the upgraded gaming experience. Minecon 2015 has already been labeled by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest conference dedicated to a single game franchise, selling 10,000 tickets at roughly $200 USD a pop for a weekend of non-Independence Day related content. I'd like to point out that Minecon is obviously not the largest gaming expo. PAX East draws in over 60,000 people yearly, and Gamescon in Germany easily rakes in 200,000+ (because it's free). And before you mention QuakeCon, QC is game tournies across the board and does not solely focus on the video game Quake. Minecon was all about Minecraft, 24/2 (since it was a 2 day event).

The talk of the town was for the holographic demo that we all saw at E3 this year with the Microsoft booth. But it seemed like very few people in the media were able to get a coveted slot into the rooms that housed the illustrious gear. The few that did were from analysis and Microsoft employees who had their kids provide a response. Pretty lame. Maybe we'll have more details later in the year.

From the look of things, Minecon was just like any other gaming convention. Except it was 100% about Minecraft. Even Mattel had a booth in the expo hall that dolled out the wears and licensing of all things Minecraft. Card games, bobble heads, figurines, you name it. Any 10 year old "miner" would have had the time of their lives. 

There were also booths showcasing how Minecraft is affecting the world, from schools to the United Nations. Displays appeared around the convention, and hopefully gave a glimpse to the older generations at how much impact  video game can have if you keep an open mind.

For us adults, there are a lot of updates to look forward to, and some features Microsoft is working on. They're bringing more development into their Washington offices, and the Sweedish location is being trimmed down further, focusing on the Pocket Edition of the game. There is a team at the Washington headquarters working on developing a unified Minecraft platform so that PC and XBox users can play on one server/world. On July 29th, a beta version of the game will be available for Windows 10. It'll be a stripped down version and be missing a lot of the features of the base game, but it's a chance to test it out on the new operating system.

Weapon upgrades are on the way! Duel-wielding and enchanted arrows for the adventurers of the game. And The End will be getting an upgrade, becoming a full-fledged area similar to The Nether. Players will be able to traverse the region and explore new dungeons that open up. 

Overall, it seemed like an enjoyable experience for the kids who are really into Minecraft. If you're an adult and could care less, then this wouldn't have been your first choice of event for a 4th of July weekend. I was hoping for more information on the hologram, but we'll just have to sit and wait for now.


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