While players are free to explore this new blocky universe, Dungeons is decidedly not an open-world game. It is, however, a passion project for a small team at Mojang, according to Chief Creative Officer Jens Bergensten.
“When I think about Minecraft, I essentially think about it as the multiverse, like multiple universes,” Bergensten said on a phone call just days before revealing Dungeons at Minecon 2018. “Dungeons is essentially one Minecraft world with specific areas to go to and specific quests and specific monsters. That said, there are of course procedural elements to the game, but it’s not an open-world game that Minecraft is.”
Dungeons can be played solo or with up to three other people online; there’s no local co-op mode. It’s due to hit PC in 2019.
Dungeons isn’t the only Minecraft spin-off in town. Mojang and Microsoft, the studio’s parent company since 2014, have long been exploring new worlds in the Minecraft multiverse, most notably with Minecraft: Story Mode.
Story Mode transforms Minecraft into a narrative-driven adventure game, complete with top-tier voice actors Patton Oswalt, Catherine Taber, Ashley Johnson and Brian Posehn. The first season kicked off in December 2015, while the final episode of the second season landed in December 2017. It isn’t an internal project — instead, Telltale Games, the studio behind The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us, took on the challenge.
Story Mode performed well critically and commercially, but Telltale itself has fallen apart. The studio laid off more than 200 employees, or 90 percent of its staff, earlier in September. A team of just 25 people is staying on to tie up loose ends and hopefully finish the final season of The Walking Dead. This skeleton crew is also wrapping up Minecraft: Story Mode.