As popular as the game is on consoles, PCs and mobile devices, Minecraft wasn’t widely loved on the Apple TV, according to the game’s developer, Mojang, which stopped supporting the game on September 24.
Citing a limited player base and a lack of development resources, the game’s developer Mojang explained via a message to players who owned Minecraft that the Apple TV version of the game would no longer be updated – or available for cross-play – from this point on:
“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 your 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.”
The news is disheartening for those of us who remember Tim Cook’s announcement for Apple TV support for the game back in 2016. However, what’s possibly even worse is how this bodes for the Apple TV as a micro gaming console.
Is this ‘game over’ for the Apple TV?
Back in August, rumors circulated of an Apple TV version of Fortnite once it was discovered that there was a mention of tvOS in the game’s code. Unfortunately, however, Epic Games quickly refuted the claim, saying that it only appeared for “general Unreal Engine support.”
As more and more developers leave – or, worse, forego – Apple TV, the platform might have a harder time justifying its exorbitant price tag while simultaneously sending gamers to other micro consoles with a more lively game scene. Take the Nvidia Shield, for instance, which was successful enough to warrant a second version last year and supports streaming via its GameStream and GeForce Now services.
That being said, while Apple hasn’t had the best of luck convincing gamers to join its micro console revolution, the company can rest easy at night knowing that it’s still the world’s largest digital storefront for mobile games.