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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Java and Bedrock editions merge, creating one Minecraft to rule them all

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The wild success of Minecraft didn’t come without its problems, one of which was that the original game was coded in Java. This is still the version some players prefer, for a laundry list of reasons, but for many years now the ‘standard’ edition of the game has been the Bedrock edition, which was renamed to just ‘Minecraft’ in 2017. 

Confused? The differences are very important to those invested in Minecraft, with the most crucial being that it’s easier to mod the Java edition. Regardless of how you play, the split always had one very notable kink on PC: essentially you had to buy both separately. Now Mojang and Microsoft has announced that, as of tomorrow June 7, the two versions of what some consider the most successful game of all time have been smooshed-together into Minecraft: Java & Bedrock Edition for PC.

That’s some inspired naming right there. This gives purchasers access to both editions of the game, and is now the “only offering of vanilla Minecraft on Windows PC. Of course, you will be able to cross-play with either Java or Bedrock players by launching whichever edition your friends are playing.”

Players who already own one of the versions of the game will be upgraded to the duo-pack edition. Mojang says this may take a few days to completely roll out, but all owners of the game should find the new package appears automatically in their Minecraft Launcher over the next few days.

“To be clear, Java and Bedrock will remain separate games with their own distinctive features,” says Mojang in the blogpost announcing the change. “The only difference is that now you get both by default when buying Minecraft for your Windows PC, and access them both from the same launcher.”

The split between versions hasn’t been without controversy over the years: Java players got upset when the game started insisting on a Microsoft account. But this move seems to on the face of it just make a lot of sense and be good for players.

As for Minecraft itself, it remains in ridiculously good health, with players currently awaiting this month’s huge Wilds update. In the real world it remains a constant presence, most recently being used in French president Emmanuel Macron’s re-election campaign (though I wonder how many visitors to that server could vote). And of course, regardless of what edition they’re using, players continue to create the most mind-blowing of visual spectacles in this blocky and endlessly creative world.

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