Mojang has announced Minecraft: The Wild Update, the game's big new addition for 2022. This will also include the Deep Dark Biome, delayed from the second half of this year's Caves & Cliffs update.
Details of other features were sketched out today at Minecon Live, where we also heard word that Minecraft's various PC offerings would be brought together as part of one PC launcher.
This will let you load Minecraft Java and Bedrock editions from one place, with the two also coming to Xbox Game Pass for PC in November.
2022's The Wild Update will focus on improving the game's overworld biomes, while also adding the new Deep Dark biome underneath your current map.
The Deep Dark biome was previously announced at Minecon Live 2020, and was set for this year's Caves and Cliffs update. (This isn't the first time content has been pushed back from Caves and Cliffs to a later date.) Exactly when the remaining bits of Caves and Cliffs will arrive, we did not hear.
The Deep Dark biome is the deepest area in Minecraft to date, beneath the game's current bedrock layer. There you'll find remnants of a ruined civilisation and creepy eyeless enemies called Wardens who will react to vibrations.
Back on the surface, Mojang confirmed the addition of frogs (and tadpoles), a new mangrove biome, and boats with chests. Tadpoles will grow into frogs dependant on biome they're in, while frogs will eat fireflies.
The new mangrove biome will add mud blocks, which you can turn into mud bricks, plus a new mangrove wood type.
It's a less eye-popping update than this year's terrain-changing Caves and Cliffs, which Mojang has called the game's biggest update to date, but the narrower focus is one the studio is keen on in order to focus on game quality and team health.
Expect The Wild Update to turn up in Minecraft sometime next year.
Elsewhere, Mojang released some new player stats for the game, which reached a fresh monthly active user peak of 140 million players in August. 1bn hours of multiplayer have been logged in 2021 so far, and there are now 500m registered Minecraft players in China.