A Caves & Cliffs announcement

Important news about Minecraft's next big update

Ever since we announced the Caves & Cliffs Update at Minecraft Live, we’ve been delighted to see your reactions, from valuable feedback to exquisite fan art. We didn’t think the axolotl could get any cuter, but you proved us wrong again and again. 

We know this is a highly anticipated update. It's also the most ambitious one we've ever developed and we’re striving to deliver as much fun content as possible without compromising on quality. However, due to the ambition level of this update and the current state of the world, we’ve found it difficult to deliver on this promise while sticking to our original timeline. Since giving you the best update possible is our priority, we have decided to split Caves & Cliffs into two parts. The first part is coming this summer, while the second is planned for release around the holiday season.

We know this news is disappointing to many of you, but there are several reasons for this change. Firstly, we strive to deliver the most polished experience possible, and including all the Caves & Cliffs features in the summer update would have meant compromising on quality. And even though occasional bugs are a reality of game development, we want this update to be an amazing experience, not wreak havoc on your meticulously crafted worlds.

Because of the magnitude of this update and the dramatic changes it brings to the Overworld as a whole, there are also significant technical challenges we need to overcome before certain parts of the update are ready to ship. Take the completely revamped world generation, which affects all the caves and mountains in Minecraft. With this feature, we are completely reshaping the Overworld, including the build height. Not only do we have to consider every effect this can have on the world but also how it will affect performance. Basically, having more stuff in the game also slows it down and we want to avoid that.

Technical considerations aside, we also prioritize our team’s health. We’ve come to realize that to ship all the features in the summer we would’ve had to work very long hours; and even then, there would’ve been no guarantee that everything would be finished on time. Lastly, working from home as we cope with the pandemic is still challenging – not just in terms of morale but also by hindering teamwork. Because our workflow is so complex and collaborative, not having the option to walk up to someone and ask for help makes everything take longer.

This was not an easy decision, and we’re also disappointed that some really exciting features are only coming later. Still, it’s the best possible choice to keep our team healthy, happy, and able to deliver awesome updates for many years to come. We will be doing some deep dives into the summer update over the coming weeks, but for now, we can tell you that the first part will focus on some cute and fun mobs, cool items, and new blocks. There’s a lot to look forward to, and we’re working as hard as we can to bring you the entire Caves & Cliffs experience.

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