Microsoft is expanding its world of Minecraft into a new action-adventure game, Minecraft Legends. The title, which is coming in 2023, asks players to explore the Minecraft world as it’s being invaded by an evil force.
Microsoft’s Mojang studios, which makes Minecraft, described the new game as a “familiar yet in-many-ways-new” experience, focused more on strategy and battle. The original Minecraft game, which was released in 2011, asks players to build and explore, while occasionally fighting off zombie-like creatures.
“You are the center of every battle you lead, fighting alongside your allies while giving them directions,” Microsoft said, in an announcement teasing the game. Microsoft said it collaborated with Blackbird Interactive, which also developed the upcoming space strategy game Homeworld 3.
Just because Minecraft Legends comes from a popular title doesn’t guarantee success, though. Minecraft itself may be one of the most popular video games ever made, up there with Tetris, Super Mario Bros. and Grand Theft Auto. But its efforts to expand past that hit formula have been spotty.
Minecraft Dungeons, an action-adventure game in Minecraft’s style, received mixed reviews when it was released two years ago, according to a survey by Metacritic. Another CNET corporate cousin, GameSpot, gave the game a “good” review, noting that the biggest disappointment was that Minecraft Dungeons focused on fighting monsters instead of offering a new twist on its namesake’s formula of world building. “Rather than shift our expectations of what games can be, it’s banking on its own popularity,” GameSpot’s Steve Watts wrote.
Microsoft announced Minecraft Legends at its annual summer video game showcase, which is being held online this year. The game will made available next year for Xbox, PC and cloud gaming.