When Microsoft announced Minecraft's Better Together update, fans cheered. Minecraft feels built for cross-network play. It's the world's biggest family game, an experience designed with collaborative play in mind, and now truly open to everyone regardless of device (except PlayStation).
At least, that's how it seemed. Sadly, the edition which has arrived on console is not quite what fans had envisioned.
Microsoft never did a great job of communicating the fact its Better Together Update is not actually an update for console owners. It's a completely different game - one which is almost identical to Minecraft's previous Pocket Edition for mobiles.
Do you remember your first adventures in Minecraft? I do. I was mostly confused. For much of its history, Minecraft hasn't done much to help you understand how to play it, how to craft things, what these crafted things do, and why you'd want them. It doesn't tell you about the alternate dimensions that you can visit, or about how you get to them. It doesn't tell you why should should play or what you're aiming for.
What happens when you go up against Minecraft? What happens when you dare suggest gaming's golden child not belong in the classroom, then call it "a gimmick", then say "we need to drain the swamp of gimmicks"? It does not involve being sent nice flowers I'll tell you that.
Traditional MMOs have gone out of fashion lately. It used to be that every gaming brand had exciting untapped MMO potential and every publisher wanted an MMO in its stable, but the gold rush inspired by World of Warcraft yielded little precious metal, and a lot of publishers got burned in the process - especially Electronic Arts with Star Wars: The Old Republic - while the term "MMO" has become taboo when discussing a new breed of games that includes The Division and Destiny, even though in many respects they are both massively multiplayer and online.
Imagine being eight years old today. You pack your bag, hop on a bus, act like your crush has cooties and go through lessons on history, English, maths, science, and... Minecraft?