Published on October 9th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson2
Microsoft ends Minecraft support on Apple TV
Almost two years after its tvOS launch, Microsoft has ended support of the popular sandbox video game Minecraft for Apple TV saying there were not enough users to continue supporting the platform. The news is a serious blow for tvOS as a gaming platform.
BESTAppleTV has confirmed the game has been removed from the tvOS App Store. The Apple TV version retailed for $20.
In an on-screen message to players first reported on Twitter by Irish Apple TV user Steve Troughton-Smith, the company said it was “reallocating resources” to more popular platforms, and while the game would still work on the device, it would refund purchases made within the last 90 days before September 24.
“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 Microsoft statement read. “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.”
RIP Minecraft on Apple TV. That didn't last long https://t.co/E67YOcYr8G
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) October 9, 2018
Minecraft made its Apple TV debut in tvOS App Store in December 2016 after being announced at Apple’s October 2016 keynote.
Qualified customers wanting to check on the status of a refund can contact Apple Customer Service online or call 1-800-692-7753.
Apple TV as a game platform now in question
The titles removal is the latest example of a lack of interest from the video game industry in supporting Apple TV. Developers have made it publicly known its skepticism of Apple TV shipping only with a touch-based remote that limits them in developing immersive games. While Apple TV works with third-party Bluetooth controllers, the platform hasn’t been embraced by consumers and therefore developers.
Other developer complaints to supporting Apple TV have included a strong lack of promotion for games on the App Store and the recent termination by Apple paying for marketing links through its Affiliate Marketing Scheme.
If Minecraft can’t do well on Apple TV, the concern of many will be few other titles can either. Minecraft continues to dominate the gaming market, sharing the second-place position only behind Tetris, based on the total number of game sales. That even puts it ahead of Fortnite, a game that has been trending for months. The free first-person sandbox shooter has an active player base of 78 million monthly players, still shy from the almost 91 million active players of Minecraft.
In an interview with Fast Company last August, games publisher Raw Fury gave firm evidence of the lack of success for games on Apple TV. He said in the first five months of the launch of its game Kingdom: New Lands, it had sold 54,000 units of the iOS version, 35,000 of the XBox One version and only 600 on Apple TV.
UPDATE OCT. 9 @ 8 PM EDT: Apple’s press relations department did not reply to BESTAppleTVs request for comment to this story.