Latest ‘Minecraft' update means new blocks, better villages, and pillagers with crossbows

“Minecraft” may be one of the best-selling video games of all time – with more than 154 million copies purchased to date – but the developers haven't stopped building more into the game.

Acquired by Microsoft in 2014, developer Mojang has just launched Village & Pillage, a free update that adds a plethora of new goodies to “Minecraft,” for both the Java and Bedrock versions of game, which includes Windows PC ($26.95 and $26.99 for PC and Macintosh), mobile (iOS and Android, $6.99), Xbox One ($19.99) and Nintendo Switch ($29.99), and virtual reality platforms.

Before we get into what’s new and newsworthy in this new update, take in these additional facts about the world-renowned building simulation, released ten years ago this month: more people are playing “Minecraft” than ever before at about 91 million unique players every month (across all platforms); more than 160 million people have watched more than 5 billion hours of Minecraft video content on YouTube; and not only is “Minecraft” one of the best-selling games in history, but also one of the highest-rated, with the PC version netting a 93% average “metascore” at

Building better ‘Minecraft' villages 

As the name suggests, villages have changed quite a bit and are among the highlights in this latest ‘Minecraft' update.

Visually, villages will look different based on biome, or region – plains, desert, savannah, taiga, and so forth – therefore you can expect to see changes based on climate and local resources. In fact, villages are now generated differently, so the layout and architecture of the village will vary.

Villages are generated differently now in 'Minecraft,' and enjoy a new look and gameplay elements tied to each biome, or region.

Villages are generated differently now in ‘Minecraft,' and enjoy a new look and gameplay elements tied to each biome, or region. (Photo: Mojang/Microsoft)

Along with new building types, villagers also look more unique, with clothing that matches the biome they’re in, as well as their level and profession. With the latter, villagers now learn a trade when near a job site block, such as a Blacksmith, Librarian, Butcher, Cartographer and Shepherd, to name a few.

Villagers go about their business with a specific routine – from bed to work to socializing with others – and with better “pathfinding” artificial intelligence, too. 

There are other additions, too, such as Masons and Nitwit villagers, kids who play tag, and more. 

Prepare to fend off Pillagers 

Want to pick a fight? Even if you don’t, you might be forced to defend yourself from an angry mob in the “Minecraft” Village & Pillage update.

While not too bright, the crossbow-wielding pillagers will disrupt the villagers’ daily lives, by attacking them in small groups, at fortified outposts, and will plunder indiscriminately throughout the land. Unlike skeletons, these pillagers may not be smart enough to move out of the way of your return fire; their aim isn’t the best; and they’ll often hurt each other with friendly fire (and say “Ow!”).

What’s better than a bow? A crossbow, of course. This is the main new weapon found in the ‘Village & Pillage’ update for ‘Minecraft.'

What’s better than a bow? A crossbow, of course. This is the main new weapon found in the ‘Village & Pillage’ update for ‘Minecraft.' (Photo: Mojang/Microsoft)

But what they lack in brains they make up for in tenacity. Pillagers will respawn in large outpost towers and swarm and destroy villagers in their path. So, keep a shield handy to minimize damage from an onslaught of arrows.

Once you clear them out, you can score some loot. Players who successfully defend a village from a raid will receive some fireworks and the Hero of the Village effect, which provides a deep discount on trades with villagers (see below). And if you take out a pillager captain – the ones with the banners on their backs – you’ll be rewarded with a triggered raid when you enter a village. 

Along with pillagers, there are other new mobs in this update, including chubby pandas, stray cats, Ravagers (a powerful new mob), and some other surprises.

Trading up in the ‘Minecraft' update

As previously mentioned, there are new occupations in each village you visit, and that means new opportunities for trading.

When villagers make trades, they gain experience. Gain enough experience and they level up. Leveling up unlocks new trades. You get the idea.

Villagers now have a new visual-based trading system and will hold up an item they wish to trade if the player is holding something they want.

Also new is Wandering Traders, which are mysterious salesmen – flanked by a llama on each side of him – who deal items from several different biomes, often with rare materials, and offering up to six randomly generated trades. These special characters stay alive at night by drinking invisibility potions. And their loyal llamas spit at mobs if approached.

The latest ‘Minecraft’ update adds several new professionals to the game, including cartographer, librarian, butcher, and, shown here, the stone mason.

The latest ‘Minecraft’ update adds several new professionals to the game, including cartographer, librarian, butcher, and, shown here, the stone mason. (Photo: Mojang/Microsoft)

Bamboo, berries and bells 

There are dozens of other new features (and fixes) in the Village & Pillage update. Here are a few more worthy features:

•Like bamboo? Then you’ll love the update as there’s plenty of it in two new biomes: bamboo jungle and bamboo jungle hills. You can not only chop it down easily by hitting it with a sword, but also combine it with string to make scaffolding in building structures.

•Several new blocks now pop up, including a variety of slabs, stairs, and walls. New textures have been added to blocks, too, such as stained glass. And there are new job site blocks that assign trades to jobless villagers.

•As you might expect, crossbows offer many benefits over a regular bow: the weapon enjoys higher damage (and can pierce multiple enemies), plus it reloads faster, and can also shoot fireworks.

•Other additions include a bell you can ring to warn villagers of an impending attack or danger – so they run inside and hide; campfires, which serve as a light source or to cook meat; Sweet Berries, a new source of food found in taiga biomes; seven new Achievements including one for killing a pillager captain; and some accessibility features such as text to speech, which can now be enabled to read in-game chat.

‘Minecraft’ Creator Excluded From Anniversary Due to ‘Comments and Opinions’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Minecraft” creator Marcus “Notch” Persson, who sold the title to Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014, won’t be part of 10-year anniversary plans for the game because of his “comments and opinions,” Microsoft tells Variety.

“His comments and opinions do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang and are not representative of ‘Minecraft,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Variety.

The spokesperson also noted that Persson hasn’t been involved with “Minecraft” since he sold the studio and rights to the game in 2014. 

Persson, once an involved member of the video game development community, has increasingly ostracized himself with his Twitter comments, including transphobic statements and comments about a “heterosexual pride day,” and  that “it’s ok to be white.” Persson has about 3.7 million followers on Twitter.

An update to the game last month removed loading screen text on “Minecraft” that referenced Persson. Microsoft didn’t comment about the decision to remove the reference last month.

But speaking with Variety this week, a Microsoft official confirmed that Persson would not take part in a press event at Minecraft studio Mojang in Stockholm to celebrate the May 17. The event will look at the “past, present and exciting future of the decade-old franchise,” according to the company.

“Minecraft” is a seminal video game. With more than 91 million monthly players, the building and survival game is the second best-selling video game in history, behind “Tetris.”

“Minecraft” is available on all gaming platforms.

This Minecraft Program Helps Students ‘Rebuild’ Heritage Sites Destroyed by Conflict

The Buddhas of Bamyan were two monumental statues carved into the side of a cliff in Bamyan Valley, central Afghanistan, during the 6th century. Though constructed directly from the sandstone itself, sculptors fashioned some of the more intricate details out of mud, straw, and carefully coated stucco. At 115 and 174 feet tall, they both stood as towering tributes to Buddha.

In March 2001, the Taliban destroyed both statues, reducing centuries of history and ancient expression—both artistic and religious—to rubble. It was a blow that will reverberate throughout the generations that will never get to experience its glory firsthand.

Many war-affected countries harbor similar stories of loss while younger generations miss out on not only the majesty but also the chance to truly place the deep cultural significance of these pillars. That is why the History Blocks project was launched in February.Minecraft | History Blocks

Volume 90% 

With the support of the United Nations agency UNESCO, History Blocks allows students to collaboratively rebuild monuments that were destroyed during conflicts in the Middle East. The interactive program takes place within Microsoft’s Minecraft Education Edition platform. With the help of their teachers—and subjects like math, history, and government—students can “restore” notable landmarks like the Buddhas of Bamyan or the Temple of Bel within the legendary Minecraft world.

Developed by agency Africa in São Paulo, History Blocks is available to schools in over 30 countries. The team behind the project’s development hopes to expand to other nations, which would continue to close the gap between today’s generation and these relics.

“Unfortunately, many monuments have been destroyed by wars and conflicts … monuments which are a part of and tell our history,” said Sergio Gordilho, Africa’s Co-president and CCO. “Since we are unable to rebuild these monuments in the real world, at least we could make it so in the digital world.”

Running such a program under a name as widely recognizable as Minecraft further exemplifies the versatility of a video gaming industry that continues to battle a negative, violent perception. Lending a platform to such a pedagogic effort provides another inextricable link between video games and education.

“Technology is a tool to transform education and bring to life methods that used to be unthinkable when it comes to teaching,” said Daniel Maia, manager for academic projects at Microsoft Brazil. “The project on the UNESCO’s world heritage sites opens the door for students all over the world to study important monuments of our history.”

Microsoft teases ‘Minecraft' AR for your phone

Microsoft has something big in store for Minecraft fans. The company used the start of Build 2019 to offer a teaser for an augmented reality Minecraftexperience for phones. The clip doesn't say much about what the experience entails, although it's safe to say you won't be building entire virtual worlds in your neighborhood — the limitations of the real world will likely dictate what you can do.

The teaser promises more info on May 17th. This isn't going to be as slick as the HoloLens take on Minecraft, but it might not have to be. If anything, this could be an introduction to AR for kids and other curious gamers who might otherwise be unfamiliar with the technology and what it can do.

Catch up on all the latest news from Build 2019 here!

The Sims 4 audience grew 35% year-over-year

Electronic Arts said today that the audience for The Sims 4 grew 35% in the past year.

In its earnings report, EA said that active players for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, grew 35%. That’s a testament to EA’s live operations for the PC and mobile versions of the game.

Back in October, EA said The Sims 4’s expansions have been downloaded more than 30 million times. The Sims 4 launched for PC in 2014, with the Xbox One version following in 2017. The base game has sold well beyond 10 million copies.

Minecraft Marketplace March 2019’s top 10 downloads

The Minecraft Marketplace is continuing to attract fan engagement. Players showed up to the store for 3,705,978 downloads in March. That’s up from 3.32 million in February, and it’s also up more than 10-fold year-over-year from 321,317 downloads in March 2018.

The downloads are coming from a lot of familiar pieces of content and concepts. Ongoing hits like Dragons and Luxury Life are once again on both the top 10 most downloaded and highest grossing lists. City-based maps are also still extremely popular.

Top 10 most downloaded

2. Pet Shop

 2. Pet Shop

1. City Living — Noxcrew

“Cars, helicopters, private jets …. They’re all yours with Noxcrew’s City Living. Get the full lifestyle experience with luxury apartments, office buildings, and even drivable vehicles.”

2. Pet Shop — Pixelheads

“Welcome to Pet Shop. Choose between 17 lovely pets. Explore a town and earn coins by collecting poop or by catching stray animals. Play fetch with dogs, trim a poodle, or take a snake for a walk. Cats, hamsters, lizards, poodles, capuchin monkeys, snails, hedgehogs, snakes, German shepherds, parakeets, penguins, rats, piggies, ferrets, koalas, chameleons, and rottweilers.”

3. Dragons — InPvP

“Take one of six dragons to the skies and become a legendary dragon rider. Surprise your enemies with custom attacks. Shoot fireballs and drop TNT. Explore three huge castles and the beautiful custom landscape.”

4. Luxury Life — Pixelheads

“Luxury Life is a world where you role-play life as a billionaire. Cruise the streets in a sports car or any of the 10 other vehicles, explore luxurious mansions and decorate with furniture!”

5. Springtime — CubeCraft

“Spring is here! Dress up as a cute Easter bunny or choose from a variety of pastel coloured outfits. Show your friends you have the best style with one of our adorable onesies.”

6. Teens! HD — Pixel Squared

“Teens are back! We’ve revisited one of our favorite skin packs and re-created these teens in HD! Enjoy some of your favorite outfits again, but this time in even more detail! There are matching skins here for everyone, so grab your friends and adventure in style as any of these fashionable pairs.”

7. Steven Universe Mash-Up — Minecraft

“Steven enters the Minecraft universe in this Diamond-worth mash-up. Contains Steven Universe themed skins, textures, and original music from the show and all your favorite locations, from Beach City to Homeworld. Believe in Steven.”

8. Dinosaur Island — Pixelheads

“This once-idyllic island has been overrun by prehistoric beasts after the scientists lost control of their genetic experiments. Explore and discover the hidden mysteries of this intriguing island in a completely new adventure on Dinosaur Island.”

9. City Life — Pixelheads

“Cruise through the big city in City Life! Chase down a bandit in your police car, save the day as a firefighter or take your dog for a walk.”

10. City Mash-Up —  Everbloom Studios

“With over 1,000 hand-detailed rooms, there are stories, secrets, and mini-games around every corner. Build with the city’s full texture pack in your own worlds or take on any role you can imagine!”

Top 10 highest grossing

2. Pet Shop

 2. Pet Shop

1. City Living — Noxcrew

“Cars, helicopters, private jets …. They’re all yours with Noxcrew’s City Living. Get the full lifestyle experience with luxury apartments, office buildings, and even drivable vehicles.”

2. Pet Shop — Pixelheads

“Welcome to Pet Shop. Choose between 17 lovely pets. Explore a town and earn coins by collecting poop or by catching stray animals. Play fetch with dogs, trim a poodle, or take a snake for a walk. Cats, hamsters, lizards, poodles, capuchin monkeys, snails, hedgehogs, snakes, German shepherds, parakeets, penguins, rats, piggies, ferrets, koalas, chameleons, and rottweilers.”

3. Dragons — InPvP

“Take one of six dragons to the skies and become a legendary dragon rider. Surprise your enemies with custom attacks. Shoot fireballs and drop TNT. Explore three huge castles and the beautiful custom landscape.”

4. Luxury Life — Pixelheads

“Luxury Life is a world where you role-play life as a billionaire. Cruise the streets in a sports car or any of the 10 other vehicles, explore luxurious mansions and decorate with furniture!”

5. City Mash-Up — Everbloom Studios

“With over 1,000 hand-detailed rooms, there are stories, secrets, and mini-games around every corner. Build with the city’s full texture pack in your own worlds or take on any role you can imagine!”

6. Steven Universe Mash-Up — Minecraft

“Steven enters the Minecraft universe in this Diamond-worth mash-up. Contains Steven Universe themed skins, textures, and original music from the show and all your favorite locations, from Beach City to Homeworld. Believe in Steven.”

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas — Minecraft

“A nightmare? Before Christmas? With thousands of blocks over there and more redstone than I can bear? Looks scary, but also fun! Could it be I got my wish? Should I play, or should I run? A Christmas pack so nightmarish!”

8. Dinosaur Island — Pixelheads

“This once-idyllic island has been overrun by prehistoric beasts after the scientists lost control of their genetic experiments. Explore and discover the hidden mysteries of this intriguing island in a completely new adventure on Dinosaur Island.”

9. City Life — Pixelheads

“Cruise through the big city in City Life! Chase down a bandit in your police car, save the day as a firefighter or take your dog for a walk.”

10. Advanced Farming — Gamemode One

“Farm your heart out with new machines, vehicles, animals, pets, vendors, characters, and lands to explore.”

The universe-shattering implications of Fortnite in Avengers: Endgame

The oddest cameo in AvengersEndgame isn’t from Stan Lee or co-director Joe Russo. The cameo by Fortnite, the popular online battle royale game, is the one with the biggest ramifications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And that’s because it raises an awkward question: does Fortnite’s Thanos mode also exist in the Avengers universe? And if so, what does that mode look like in a post-Snap world?

The limited-time Thanos game mode shook up the traditional Fortnite formula, forcing players to team up to fight against the super-powered, Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Mad Titan. Yes, Fortnite’s Thanos mode, and the subsequent Avengers: Endgame mode that succeeded it this year, are marketing tools for our universe’s Avengers movies, which probably don’t exist in the Marvel world, unless there are some very, very dedicated documentarians out there.

But we do know from Infinity War that Avengers-branded tie in products exist: in Avengers: Infinity War, Doctor Strange and Wong reference Stark Raving Hazelnuts and Hunka-Hulk-a Burning Fudge flavors of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, implying that this kind of licensed tie-in is fairly commonplace in the Marvel world. And Spider-ManHomecominghas shown that these heroes are essentially celebrities, so the possibility of an Avengers video game tie in is at least within the realm of possibility.

Still, we need to address the logistics of how Fortnite exists in a post-Snap world, let alone how it’s still so popular five years after the Snap (so in 2023, six years after it launched in our world) that Thor and Korg can matchmake with opponents easily, despite connecting from the extremely rural town of News Asgard / Tønsberg, Norway.

After the Snap, we’re told that the world plunged into chaos for a time: governments, armed forces, doctors, first responders, and so forth have all been halved. But that may explain Fortnite’s ongoing popularity: even after the world returns to something resembling equilibrium, the number of video game developers, producers, directors, marketing teams, etc. would also have been halved. Worldwide chaos and internal company chaos would have both dramatically slowed down new releases. Halving the player base also means fewer potential sales, which would hurt the bottom line for gaming companies as well — giving them every reason to lean hard on expanding existing popular products instead of focusing on new ones.

So updating and maintaining servers for a free-to-play game like Fortnite would be a viable long-term plan to keep the lights on at a game studio. The entire video gaming world likely saw a condensing post-Snap, but that reduced player base would also explain why Korg apparently keeps running into the same annoying “Noobmaster69” opponent, which is unlikely in our world’s version of the game, given the larger player pool and the random matchmaking system.IN A POST-SNAP WORLD, FORTNITE STILL SURVIVES

But does the average person even know Thanos exists? For those who weren’t on the battlefield in Wakanda with the Avengers, it would have been tough to immediately know what caused the Snap, and “genocidal purple space tyrant” probably wasn’t on most people’s list. Still, in Endgame, both Captain America and Ronin reference Thanos to non-Avengers — Cap at his support group, and Ronin when hunting down gangsters in Japan — so it seems the heroes have shared the news about him with the general populace.

But still, would there be a Thanos mode in the MCU version of Fortnite? It’s hard to see Epic Games developing one, given that Thanos is the worst mass murderer ever to exist within the Avengers’ world, and putting him in a video game as a playable character whose sole goal is to wipe out everyone else on the map would no doubt be the height of cultural insensitivity. (Plus, they would have had to develop it post-Snap.)


Then again, video game studios aren’t always known for making the best decisions, and it’s possible that a Thanos mode could still exist in the MCU’s Fortnite — but likely in a very different style. While our universe’s Thanos gamemode is almost comically distasteful in an MCU context, it’s possible that a more cathartic mode — for instance, where players could work together to exact some sort of fantastical revenge on the universe’s greatest villain — could exist at some point. In the same way own modern games — like the Call of Duty series, which have made an artform of cashing in on human tragedies like World War II — draw on real-world atrocities for video game plots.

Still, if there was a Thanos mode in the MCU, Korg probably wouldn’t play it in Endgame. At least not while Thor’s around, given howsensitive Thor is about hearing the Mad Titan’s name. Then again, that’s what headsets are for.

You can now play Minecraft Classic in your browser

Starting today, you can play the original Minecraft — complete with bugs — in your web browser. To celebrate the iconic game’s impending 10th anniversary, developer Mojang released “Minecraft Classic,” which preserves the game as it was in 2009. That includes a much more spartan interface, an extremely limited 32 blocks to build with, as well as all of the bugs and technical issues that were present at the time. “Minecraft 2009 is even more glorious than we remembered!” Mojang’s Tom Stone wrote in the announcement post. It’s certainly a far cry from the current iteration of the game, as well as future plans like moving into augmented reality, so don’t go in expecting things like survival mode.

You can check out Minecraft Classic right here. ( )

Microsoft Teases Minecraft Augmented-Reality News for May 17

Microsoft Corp. showed a video hinting that its popular Minecraft video game will soon add augmented-reality features, saying more information will come on May 17.

The clip, screened at the software maker’s Build developer conference Monday in Seattle, showed a user leaving a mobile phone on a bench and another person picking it up and using it to view a 3-D Minecraft hologram. May 17 is the 10th anniversary of the original release of Minecraft, a cult-favorite game that lets players build virtual worlds. The company showed the video to close Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s keynote speech.

Mobile augmented-reality games, which overlay digital elements on real-world scenes using a phone’s camera, surged to popularity following the 2016 debut of Niantic Inc.’s Pokemon Go.

Microsoft just teased a futuristic new way to play ‘Minecraft'

Are you ready for a creeper to blow up in your neighborhood?

That's exactly what Microsoft is promising with its new tease for “Minecraft” as a “Pokémon Go”-like augmented reality game.

In a short teaser shared on Microsoft's Twitter account on Monday, an Android phone is used to demonstrate how someone might interact with “Minecraft” as an AR application:

Minecraft (augmented reality)

The characteristic inventory menu from “Minecraft” sits along the bottom of the screen, but the rest of the screen is consumed by the world of “Minecraft.”A very pixelated pig marches around in mud, and a few of the game's villagers show up to take a look.

There's little else to know at the moment, but it sounds like we'll hear more soon — a May 17 reveal is scheduled, right in time for the 10th anniversary of the game.

Check out the full teaser right here:

Embedded video

Microsoft teases Minecraft take on Pokemon Go

Microsoft had plenty of software reveals at Build 2019 on Monday, and hinted at gaming news. During the event, Microsoft released a teaser video of a new augmented reality (AR) Minecraft mobile game similar to Pokemon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite. There was no official name for the game, but there was a date of May 17 for the reveal. 

Embedded video

May 17 is an important date for Minecraft. Developer Mojang and Microsoft will hold a press event in Stockholm on the day to celebrate the game's 10-year anniversary.

AR games reached new heights when Pokemon Go was released in 2016 and became the fastest iTunes app to reach $1 billion at the time. It spawned several similar games including Ghostbusters World, Jurassic Park World Alive and the soon-to-be-released Harry Potter Wizards Unite

Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Originally published on May 6, 10:42 a.m. PT. 
Update, 12:45 a.m. PT: Adds background info on event and AR games. 

Microsoft just teased a slick new Minecraft AR game for your phone

Microsoft has started to tease what appears to be a new Minecraft game for mobile devices. The software giant used a video at the end of the company’s Build 2019 keynote today to show Minecraft in augmented reality, running on a phone. In the video, Minecraft creative director Saxs Persson leaves his phone on a bench outside the Washington State Convention Center where Microsoft’s Build developer conference is being held. A passerby picks it up and is able to see Minecraft running in AR, suggesting that Microsoft is preparing a new game.

It’s not clear what this Minecraft game will be, but it could be a killer app for augmented reality. We’ve not seen many apps or games since Pokémon Go that have demonstrated the potential for augmented reality, and Pokémon Go has been downloaded more than 500 million times.

Microsoft isn’t commenting further about any plans for Minecraft AR. The teaser also notes that more information will be coming on May 17th, the 10-year anniversary of Minecraft. Microsoft has previously shown Minecraft running on the HoloLens headset, but that was simply a tech demo rather than a new game. Microsoft’s teaser feels like something bigger, especially as it’s clearly tied to 10 years of Minecraft. We should learn a lot more on May 17th.

Mojang makes $100K donation after Minecraft map pack downloaded 100K times

The Minecraft studio added another zero to last month's $10K donation to charity: water.

It wasn't the smoothest weekend ever for Minecraft studio Mojang, which rolled out the largest update in the game's history and very shortly thereafter discovered that it had turned the game's AI-controlled villagers into hyperactive, hyper-horny, and completely out-of-control jerks. But there's a spot of good news amidst all of that, too. 

In March, Mojang donated $10,000 to charity: water, a non-profit organization that works to make safe drinking water accessible in developing countries. Last week, it pledged to bounce that donation to $100,000, once a new map and skin pack called The Travelling Trader had been downloaded 100,000 times.   

“663 million people currently lack access to clean water (that’s almost 1 in 10 people), which makes the great work of charity: water absolutely essential. They want to bring clean water to as many people as possible, and we want to help them more,” Mojang wrote. “Charity: water estimates that the number of people impacted by a $100,000 donation is over 3,300. So all you have to do is download a great map and skin pack, and you’ll help us help a fantastic cause!”   

The pack was made by “excellent content creators” Jigarbov Productions, and it's free, which made achieving the goal almost inevitable. Even so, the quickness with which it happened is pretty impressive: 


You guys are just amazing! It didn’t even take you one day to make ‘The Travelling Trader’ reach 100,000 downloads. As promised, we will donate $90,000 to @charitywater. Great work everybody!2,3981:32 PM – Apr 27, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy254 people are talking about this

Microsoft announced today that it will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of Minecraft's release in May. Original creator Marcus “Notch” Persson will not be taking part.

Minecraft Villagers are Working, Sleeping, and Breeding Inside Player Homes

Recently introduced to Minecraft is the new Village and Pillage add-on, bringing a new wave of aspirations to the villager NPCs and prompting them to develop their day-to-day activities. In fact, it might have worked too well, because now the locals are working, sleeping, and—quite disturbingly—breeding inside player homes.

Have they no shame?

Have they no shame?
Numerous reports of nosy neighbors have appeared on Reddit since the update launched, spanning a wide variety of complaints. As reported by Kotaku, players have come home to find the villagers sleeping in their beds, small children jumping on said beds, stealing crops, and breeding wherever they please. There have even been reports of villager heads popping off while they sleep. No matter where your home is located, place it close enough to a village, and they will most certainly stop by. Fortunately, their interactions are always peaceful at the least. 


But have no fear; if you've recently come across these pesky villagers invading your home, the community has already responded with a few solutions. One Twitter user discovered an easy fix with a fishing rod, pulling any unwanted NPC out of your bed. And others have reported that the villagers aren't too good with stairs or gates, giving you a few options to protect your home. But perhaps the most important thing on the list is to simply have enough beds and workstations in the village for everyone. This should keep your neighbors well away from your house in the future, as they'll have plenty to keep occupied. 

As of now, there has yet to be an official statement on the villagers. But we'll get back to you on any potential fixes in the future. In the meantime, enjoy the not-so-peaceful interaction of the once tranquil NPCs.

Massive Minecraft Update Includes Pandas and Cartography

After being added to Xbox Game Pass, Minecraft fans have more to shout about this month as the game has received it’s long awaiting “Village and Pillage” update.

Version 1.14 brings with it a host of new features and animals, including adorable panda’s (and bamboo to accompany them), cartography, pillagers and crossbows. The pillagers have different professions, so expect to see butchers, shepherds and clerics inhabiting the world the next time you load into the game.

As well as the above we have fletching tables, a composter, foxes, junction blocks and ravagers, which are giant armoured bulls. As someone who hasn’t played Minecraft in a while, I’m fairly confused too, dear reader.
Players can also find wandering traders who travel across the landscape with a llama in tow, selling their wares. It all sounds a bit Breath of the Wild to me, which can only be a good thing for Minecraft fans looking for a more gritty adventure.

One of the more important sections of the patch notes makes light of the fact that baby pandas can sneeze and startle their guardians, and the new endangered mob have personalities, and can be “lazy, playful, worried or aggressive.” It’s nice to see some extra accessibility features available too, including a UI screen reader and a text-to-speech system.

You can read the entire changelog for yourself on, where Mojang provides further detail on all of the fixes and features to expect when you next launch Minecraft on your platform of choice. 

ShackStream: More Minecraft Village and Pillage

It’s hard to believe, but it has been nearly a decade since Minecraft first appeared. On May 10, the game will see the 10-year anniversary of its original pre-classic release. Through years of additions, changes, and being sold to Microsoft, Minecraft became a worldwide phenomenon, selling about as many copies as the Bible.

The development team at Mojang has just released the newest update to the game, version 1.14. This version is formally known as the Village and Pillage Update. It adds loads of new blocks, mechanics, and bugfixes, as well as a new lighting system and reworked textures. On today’s episode of ShackStream, we continue our progress on the homely mountain love shack and will begin to venture outwards into the unknown wilderness.

The fun kicks off at 4:15 PM EDT (01:15 PDT) on the Official Shacknews Twitch Channel.

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Minecraft: How to Start a Raid (Version 1.14)

The latest version of Minecraft (1.14) adds a new mode to the sandbox experience called ‘Raids.’ Essentially, it’s like a horde-style combat challenge that tests your combat abilities by flooding a given village with enemies. Here’s how to start a Raid in Minecraft.

How to Start a Raid in Minecraft (Version 1.14)

To start a Raid in Minecraft you will first need to locate any village that has at least one bed and a villager NPC. From here, it’s simply a case of having a ‘Bad Omen’ status to actually trigger the beginning of a Raid.

Bad Omen is a status effect you’ll incur after killing a certain NPC-type called an ‘Illager Captain.’ These NPCs were added to Minecraft in the previous version. They have the appearance of a grey villager and will have a Bad Omen banner above their heads to distinguish them as Captains.

You’ll find Illager Captains randomly patrolling around Pillager Outposts, a village type also new to Minecraft as of the previous version of the game. They can also be found in Woodland Mansions.

Basically, the more Illager Captains you kill, the higher your Bad Omen status. The higher your Bad Omen status, the harder the Raid difficulty when you eventually do start it.

Entering a village with Bad Omen status will automatically start a Raid. You’ll see the Bad Omen status disappear and a red bar with the words ‘Raid’ will appear. This bar decreases with every enemy killed.

That’s all there is to it. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into, though, because while Raids start easy, they do quickly become more difficult. Make sure you’re well prepared before taking one on, including having a good amount of supplies and resources on you before the first wave appears.

That should be all the information you need about how to start a Raid in Minecraft. For more useful tips on the game, be sure to search Twinfinite.

Bug disables cloud saves on the Nintendo Switch version of the Minecraft video game

I weird bug is preventing owners of the Minecraft video game on Nintendo Switch from backing up their games to the Nintendo Online cloud service.

Many gamers on Reddit and Twitter had begun to wonder if the feature had deliberately been disabled due to Minecraft also using the Xbox Live cloud service for cloud saves and transferring data between devices but a Minecraft community manager chimed in on Twitter and confirmed that it is in fact a bug. A fix will likely be pushed out with an update in the near future.

@HelenAngel I see that cloud saves are no longer supported, why is that?

View image on Twitter

Uhhhhh that would be a bug312:12 PM – Apr 28, 2019 · Bellevue, WATwitter Ads info and privacySee Helen ‘s other Tweets

Minecraft is an incredibly popular video game made by the, now Microsoft-owned, Mojang game studio. The game is available on most gaming platforms and supports cross-save and crossplay between the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, VR, and mobile devices.

Minecraft movie is currently in development.

Do you play Minecraft on the Nintendo Switch and have you been affected by this bug? Let us know in the comments below and then follow us on Pinterest for more gaming content.

Box Office: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Eyes Heroic Second Weekend

It’s safe to say Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” won’t be done breaking records any time soon. Up next, the Marvel box office behemoth has its sights set on securing the biggest domestic second weekend of all time.

That crown currently belongs to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with its mighty $149 million sophomore outing in North America. “Avengers: Endgame” is already in uncharted territory after its jaw-dropping $357 million opening weekend, making it all the more difficult to predict just how big of a second weekend the superhero blockbuster is heading for. Even so, “Endgame” could endure a massive 57% decline in box office receipts from its debut and still surpass the benchmark set by “The Force Awakens,” which dipped 39.8%.

By comparison, “Avengers: Infinity War,” the precursor to “Endgame,” saw a 55% drop in sales during its second frame. It’s undisputed that the superhero finale will assemble sizable ticket sales this weekend, but even if “Avengers: Endgame” falls short of that particular goal, it will still be in rarified company. Admission for the blockbuster could plunge by 68% (a number that would be dire for many other movies) and still come in ahead of the second weekend’s of “Avengers: Infinity War” ($114 million), “Black Panther” ($111 million), and “Jurassic World” ($106 million).

On Tuesday, “Avengers: Endgame” collected $33 million, bringing its domestic haul to $427 million. After just five days, it’s already the highest-grossing movie of the year in North America, dethroning “Captain Marvel’s” $414 million and counting. Overseas, the tentpole just crossed the billion-dollar mark.

With $1.48 billion globally, “Avengers: Endgame” has now passed “Black Panther” ($1.34 billion) and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($1.4 billion) to become the eighth-biggest movie in only seven days in theaters. That stunning bounty has pushed Marvel Studios over $20 billion in ticket sales from the 22 films that comprise the comic-book empire’s cinematic universe.

Despite the clear chokehold “Avengers: Endgame” has over the exhibition industry, there are three new wide releases brave enough to take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Lionsgate’s “Long Shot,” a comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, is banking on moviegoers needing a fix of laughter to cope with the devastating conclusion to the current phase of Marvel movies. Sony and Screen Gems are releasing psychological thriller “The Intruder,” while STX has “UglyDolls,” an original animated musical featuring Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, and other familiar voices. All three are targeting opening weekends in the low-teens.

“Long Shot,” one of this summer’s few funny movies aimed at adult audiences, is expected to earn between $9 million and $16 million when it opens in 3,100 North American locations. The raunchy R-rated romantic comedy stars Rogen as a journalist trying to win over his former babysitter (Theron), who is running for president. Jonathan Levine, who previously worked with Rogen on the Joseph Gordon-Levitt drama “50/50,” directed the movie, which was penned by comedy writer Dan Sterling and “The Post” scribe Liz Hannah. Rogen produced “Long Shot” with his longtime partner Evan Goldberg, as well as Theron. Reviews were mostly positive (it has an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes), though critics like Variety’s Peter Debruge cautioned that the “undeniably funny” movie fails to reflect a post-#MeToo world.

“UglyDolls,” targeting a much different audience than that of “Long Shot,” is an animated adventure based on the popular children’s toys. STX’s first foray into animation should collect $12 million to $16 million from 3,600 screens. “UglyDolls” takes place in Uglyville, where colorful fabric dolls long for the day they will meet their perfect human match. When Moxy (Clarkson), the group’s fearless ringleader, takes her pals on a journey to Perfection, a town filled with more conventionally appealing dolls, the band of misfits learn to embrace what it means to be unique. Clarkson, Jonas, Janelle Monae, and Pitbull recorded all new music for the musical movie. STX and Alibaba Pictures co-financed the project for $45 million. It was directed by Kelly Asbury, who previously helmed animated movies “Shrek 2” and “Gnomeo & Juliet.” The next few weeks will be especially competitive on the family front, with essentially all ages still purchasing tickets for “Avengers: Endgame,” and Warner Bros.’ “Detective Pikachu,” Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” and Disney’s “Toy Story 4” debuting this summer.

“The Intruder,” a PG-13 thriller, anticipates a start between $9 million and $16 million from 2,200 venues. The movie follows a young married couple, who after buying their dream house, realizes the seller (Dennis Quaid) has some shady intentions. It carries an $8 million price tag. Sony’s Screen Gems division has recently found success serving up modestly priced thrillers like “The Possession of Hannah Grace,” “Searching,” and “Slender Man.” Those three titles, which all all brought back solid box office receipts, cost under $10 million to produce. Talk about scary-good.

How ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Used Traffic’s ‘Mr. Fantasy’ to Honor Tony Stark

The band Traffic has probably been getting its heaviest web traffic ever this past week, thanks to the use of a 50-year-old song, “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” that plays briefly but inescapably in the first 10 minutes of the superhero epic. It’s the most prominent of the handful of pop songs that show up during the three-hour running time, at least before an even older oldie, from 1945, brings up the end credits.

And boomers who are well familiar with the Traffic tune as an FM staple for the last half-century may not be that much less initially puzzled by its appearance than millennials: Why isSteve Winwood warbling aboard the starship Benatar?

(Warning: Our answers include mild thematic spoilers, for the hundred or so arthouse partisans and shut-ins who haven’t seen the film.)

Of all the movies you might walk out of saying, “Man, music supervisor Dave Jordan really earned his salary on that one,” “Endgame” does not rank high. Like other “Avengers” movies, it doesn’t interrupt Alan Silvestri’s score for much else, usually throwing in pop only during a few key “Guardians of the Galaxy” crossover moments are happening, referencing the all-but-constant stream of ‘60s and ‘70s songs that figure into that universe as actual story points. So it’s inevitable that even more fanman and fanwoman scrutiny goes toward what few picks there are from Jordan (presumably) in a film like this one that doesn’t much sweat to the oldies. “Dear Mr. Fantasy” is a resonant enough pick that maybe he merits his paycheck after all.

The obvious tonal explanation: Traffic’s observation that (to quote the Eagles) most of us are sad is apropos, coming on the heels of an introductory scene that reminds us half of civilization went ashes-to-ashes at the end of the previous movie, a mass disappearance overseen by the malevolent rapturer Thanos (Josh Brolin). The literal explanation, clear to anyone who’s a little bit up on the Marvel universe: Glum Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are playing flick football and awaiting certain death in deep space aboard the Benatar, where the Microsoft Zune belonging to absent Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) would have to be their source of tuneage.

(As “Guardians” viewers will recall, Quill/Star-Lord had his mother’s precious Walkman full of vintage songs smashed to bits in “2,” but quickly inherited from the late Yondu an equally dated and emotionally fraught piece of music hardware, the playlist of which will figure into “Guardians of the Galaxy 3,” James Gunn has promised.)

That leaves only the symbolic question to consider: Who’s Mr. Fantasy, in the Marvel, not Dave Mason, universe? Well, he’s Iron Man, of course — who in this sequel merits a more somber theme than either Black Sabbath or AC/DC could provide. “Endgame” may be an ensemble piece, but by the end of it he’s achieved something close to Main Character status. Tony Stark is the class clown whose melancholia creeps up only sarcastically and around the edges — the troupe’s go-to entertainer as well as constant savior, who maybe can’t juggle being both the wisecracking kid and genius-father-knows-best figure forever. “Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy,” sings Winwood, maybe referring — 50 years ahead of time — to Stark’s role as joker. “You are the one who can make us all laugh, but doing that you break out in tears.” Is Tony still an emotionally warped guy, despite all the domestication he’s been through since first appearing as a playboy billionaire in 2008? “Please don’t be sad — if it was a straight mind you had, we wouldn’t have known you all these years.” Maybe the filmmakers are trying to tell us that Tony is still so messed up, even Pepper Potts couldn’t reasonably say, “I will fix you.”

The needle is up almost as quickly as it was dropped: three hours doesn’t mean there’s time to fetishize a record (or MP3) collection. There are a couple of choices that don’t require a lot of overthinking— Steppenwolf’s “Hey Lawdy Mama” gives Stan Lee a chance to go out on a sleazebag cameo, and the Rolling Stones’ “Doom and Gloom,” from a few hits collections back, finally gets some sync love during a time-travel prep scene.

The most fun pick, though, is the Kinks’ “Supersonic Rocket Ship,” which doesn’t just push the obvious button in accompanying the scene where Rocket Raccoon and the Hulk travel to re-recruit Thor, but does actually describe the spirit of inclusiveness the “Guardians” franchise is meant to embody: “On my supersonic rocket ship, nobody has to be hip,” Ray Davies promised in the swingin’ jet age of 1967. “Nobody’s gonna travel second class / There’ll be equality / And no suppression of minorities / Well alright.”

The artists who gets the most audio time in “Endgame,” though?  Harry James (and his orchestra) and Kitty Kallen, who get a reprise of Jule Styne’s and Sammy Cahn’s end-of-WW-II-celebrating “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” reprised from a “Captain America” movie for a twist on bringing the boys back home. It doesn’t seem like Steve Rogers’ taste, necessarily, but it’d be nice to think he took advantage of his time-travel sojourn to take in a Traffic show.

It’s the bittersweetly cheerful bookend to that bummer-iffic opening. “Dear Mr. Fantasy” resonates in part because it was one of the early songs to make the Summer of Love feel like winter was coming. That it can serve a similar, lightly ominous purpose in a comic book franchise laden with heartache in 2019 is an interesting addition to the zeitgeist in a year when we’re trying to decide whether resuscitating Woodstock is a good idea or not. Tony Stark, hippie jester in billionaire-industrialist-superhero’s clothing, we hardly knew ye.