Microsoft announced they are shutting down the augmented reality mobile version of Minecraft and offered some details on when the game will stop functioning and what will happen with your currencies and progress.
Minecraft Earth's servers will go down on June 30, 2021. The game will cease to function completely when this happens and those who still have the game installed after the fact will only see the sunset information on the screen and won't be able to properly launch it.
The reasons for shutting the game down are probably numerous but it appears that the situation with Covid-19 pandemic was the final nail in the coffin as it prevented players from being able to properly play the game due to movement and gathering limitations.
With that in mind, the developers will still release one update for Minecraft Earth, along the lines of sunsetting updates from other games that have shut down thus far. In a nutshell, real-life money transactions will be shut down and content tied to them will become more widely available so the players can enjoy it as much as possible without having to go outside or pay for it.
Besides making the content available with lower barriers, the devs will also release content that was in development but has reached a complete stage so the final six months of Minecraft Earth will probably be eventful even for the veterans.
Players who paid with ruby balances will be granted Minecoins which will let them purchase things from Minecraft Marketplace such as skins, texture packs, minigames and maps.
Possibly the best part of the announcement is that whoever purchased anything in Minecraft Earth will get a free copy of Minecraft Bedrock Edition so they can continue building with blocks in a different environment. There are no hints of progress being carried over.