Microsoft axes Minecraft for Apple TV, no one notices

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 10
Microsoft is throwing in the towel on the Apple TV permutation of Minecraft due to low user numbers, according to a splash screen that -- ironically -- has been displayed in-game for weeks without mention from mainstream media.

Minecraft on Apple TV


Microsoft ceased support for Minecraft on the Apple TV on Sept. 24, though users are still able to play the game for the foreseeable future. Users can continue to explore the virtual world and use in-app purchases, Microsoft said.

"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," the splash screen reads.

That Minecraft lacked a vibrant player base shouldn't come as a huge surprise. The pop-up alert presumably appeared weeks ago, yet news of the game's discontinuation is only now making its way to media outlets.

The 10 year old mentioned it on Sunday. Didn't see the splash screen then but here it is... pic.twitter.com/XYQ2TirzM7

-- mac-interactive (@macinteractive)


Minecraft's demise is another nail in the coffin for Apple TV's gaming potential. That one of the world's most popular titles was unable to gain traction on Apple TV speaks volumes about the platform and its user base.

Some have criticized Apple for its inability to successfully market Apple TV as a casual gaming console.

When the fourth-generation Apple TV initially launched, Apple required all games support the Siri Remote as well as optional MFi controllers. This policy made it exceedingly difficult for developers to bring more complex games to tvOS, as the Siri Remote is severely limiting and even a bit slow.

Apple changed course and dropped the Siri Remote requirement in 2016, but AAA developers continue to shy away from the platform.

Gaming was never a major selling point for Apple TV, and Apple is seemingly content to let those prospects wither as it shifts focus back to video apps and a rumored first-party streaming service.

Minecraft remains available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    "mainstream media"

    That a phrase used by right-wing 
    extremists who want to delegitimise fact based news that doesn't line up with their ideologic nonsense.

    Let's not go down that path.

    I like Minecraft but is it really that big of a deal it's not on AppleTV?
    edited October 10 baconstangbackstabStrangeDaysclaire1
  • Reply 2 of 32


    I like Minecraft but is it really that big of a deal it's not on AppleTV?


    From the perspective of the Apple TV, it kinda is. The fact is that there were hopes that the Apple TV would become a casual gaming console, but Apple made it hard.

    Initially, there was the requirement that every game on the Apple TV had to work with the Apple TV Remote and not just dedicated controllers. That complicated things to quite a large extent.

    Apple later removed that requirement, but it may have been a little late to do so.


    The Apple TV is consolidating itself as a content streaming console and that is fine. It's just that there was potential that seems to have been squandered.

    When the Apple TV launched with tvOS, I did try a couple of games on it. However, the limitation of the Remote as a controller was a deterrent and I stopped playing any games after the first week or so. I'm sure there are a lot of others like that.

    Had Apple launched tvOS with a dedicated gaming controller, enough game developers would have invested more into the platform, thereby giving it Wii like credibility and making it the console of choice for casual gamers.

    supadav03jbdragon1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 32

    When the Apple TV launched with tvOS, I did try a couple of games on it. However, the limitation of the Remote as a controller was a deterrent and I stopped playing any games after the first week or so. I'm sure there are a lot of others like that.

    Yes, there are. And never came back trying again and/or another one.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    mike54mike54 Posts: 267member
    Even Apple didn't notice that the Apple TV would make a good games console.
    Apple only views the Apple TV as a streaming device.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    I bought a Steelseries Nimbus and played games like Asphalt 8 and Leo's Fortune. Worked great, but clearly Apple have had a hard time convincing customers and developers of this. I can see why they didn't include a controller: That would brand the box as a gaming console, when selling media was clearly the first priority. But it's really a pity. I imagine adding Apple TV support for a iOS game that already have Mfi (as all games should have) can't be too difficult and being able to change between playing on phone, tablet and big screen would really be appreciated. It would be easy for Apple to add a good Mfi emulator to the Remote app for the TV, so a dedicated controller wasn't neccecary.
    Grimzahnmike54StrangeDayswilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 32
    I bought a Steelseries Nimbus and played games like Asphalt 8 and Leo's Fortune. Worked great, but clearly Apple have had a hard time convincing customers and developers of this. I can see why they didn't include a controller: That would brand the box as a gaming console, when selling media was clearly the first priority. But it's really a pity. I imagine adding Apple TV support for a iOS game that already have Mfi (as all games should have) can't be too difficult and being able to change between playing on phone, tablet and big screen would really be appreciated. It would be easy for Apple to add a good Mfi emulator to the Remote app for the TV, so a dedicated controller wasn't neccecary.
    Same here. While I am playing games on Apple TV, I am absolutely don't caring for Minecraft. Until now I wasn't aware M$ own this title. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 32
    StuGStuG Posts: 2member
    This is such a shame. I play games on my AppleTV with a Nimbus controller and it works well. I believe that with active support from Apple it could have been a vibrant ecosystem for casual games, and provided a valid reason to pay what is otherwise over the odds for a streaming box. Such a wasted opportunity :(
    mike54SoundJudgmentclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    The pop-up alert says something in the line of sub-par gaming experience on the Apple TV compared to other platforms. Does anyone know (not speculate) more details about this?
    edited October 10 bikertwin
  • Reply 9 of 32
    irelandireland Posts: 17,470member
    Perhaps if Apple made a legit first party controller for ATV, and stuck an A12 in there... users and devs would take the platform more serious for gaming.
    mike54SoundJudgmentclaire1
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Is it possible that Apple just doesn't care if Apple TV becomes a game platform?  Or that they don't want it to become one?  I think that's the Occam's Razor choice here.  Because I feel like if Apple wanted the device to be a platform for games, it already would be one.  It's not like they haven't gone into other areas with more success than anybody thought they would have.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 32
    In other news, several financial analysits have reported that Microsoft has once again engaged in a disturbing bloodletting of its execs for the huge waste of Office profits which were diverted to buying a lo-res game. ‘It seemed like a great idea at the time...’ one whistful manager familiar with the topic was reported to have said, The poke-in-the-eye which triggered this latest cntrl-alt-del of manager BSOD was the total confirmation that zero people cared about Minecraft - despote MS desperately trying to port this program to a TV set-top box. In a snarky tweet, Ballmer sweatily remarked, ‘Apple is doomed. I knew it.’ Several mid-forty gamers noted surprise that Minecraft would even work on a Siri remote being played across a living room. Three ApleInsider staff reportedly went on a snack rampage at the local mall. More news at 11!
    baconstang
  • Reply 12 of 32
    I’m a huge Apple fan (obviously why I’m on this site) and a big gamer was well. The ATV is just an awful place to play games. Apple fumbled the ball at launch with the limit on game size and Siri remote requirement. Don’t think they have ever recovered. They really need to include a remote in the Apple TV box. But most importantly, they need to increase their game library. It’s pitiful when compared to the games available on iPad/iPhone. Where’s the GTAs, Lego games, Final Fantasies, Dragon Quests, Super Mario Run, Civilization, etc. ATV 4K is obviously powerful enough to run these games so why haven’t the migrated over from the iOS App Store? Then when they finally do get big games (Disney Infinity, Minecraft) the support for them dies out so quickly it’s not even worth playing them on the platform. Apple should be embarrassed when it comes to the ATV as a place to play games. 
    claire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 320member
    Microsoft does ______ and no one notices.
    lkruppbaconstangclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 32
    No one notices most of the apps on the Apple TV store either. And now that I have a smart TV with Roku built right in I hardly ever use my Apple TV. Every streaming app I use is available with one push of a button on my TV remote.
    supadav03
  • Reply 15 of 32
    mike54 said:
    Even Apple didn't notice that the Apple TV would make a good games console.
    Apple only views the Apple TV as a streaming device.
    Way overpriced for that. What’s the benefit of Apple TV over cheaper options other than AirPlay capability?
    canukstormwilliamlondonbaconstangclaire1
  • Reply 16 of 32
    Fritzw57Fritzw57 Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    Is it possible that Apple just doesn't care if Apple TV becomes a game platform?  Or that they don't want it to become one?  I think that's the Occam's Razor choice here.  Because I feel like if Apple wanted the device to be a platform for games, it already would be one.  It's not like they haven't gone into other areas with more success than anybody thought they would have.

    No controllers, no games. Seems like it was a done deal out of the gate. 
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Perhaps Apple purposely limited Apple TV for games (size limits, controller limits) specifically so that it wouldn’t be compared to an Xbox (which it’s not). Apple wanted casual games which would be easy to use & learn, be very fast & smooth, and not require extra hardware.

    Apple builds platforms slowly, but methodically.

    Some day when, say, the A20 is more powerful than anything in an Xbox, Apple may then have an Apple TV Pro or Gaming version that will pull out all the stops. Now is not the time.

    And as Mojo66 pointed out, the screenshot text mentions a subpar gaming experience. Clearly, Microsoft didn’t put a lot of effort in this port.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 32
    I agree that Apple has definitely lost many opportunities for games on the AppleTV, but MS also contributed to the low uptake on this game. They charged an additional $20 for this title, even if you had already purchased Minecraft for your other iOS devices. That was a completely ridiculous ask for this. My kids play Minecraft on several devices, including iPad/iPhone and Xbox, but I wasn't going to pay for yet another license just to have it on the AppleTV. There was simply no rationale to justify the cost. I have 2 Steel series controllers which are fantastic, and multiple AppleTV games, but I play them less and less. It's clear that devs aren't updating or releasing titles for the platform. It's a shame because there's lots of potential and the AppleTV runs the existing games quite well.
    entropysclaire1
  • Reply 19 of 32
    lmaclmac Posts: 160member
    I'm waiting for the Dilger Editorial where Apple intentionally spiked the AppleTV as a gaming platform in order to come out with the HomePod platform.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    mike54 said:
    Even Apple didn't notice that the Apple TV would make a good games console.
    Apple only views the Apple TV as a streaming device.
    Way overpriced for that. What’s the benefit of Apple TV over cheaper options other than AirPlay capability?
    Airplay, iTunes, Apple Music, better UI, Siri, casual games, etc.. I’ve used TV streamers and while functional, they kinda suck. 
    williamlondonclaire1
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