As per the video above Mojang today announced an interesting change of direction for the massively popular offline MINECON event.
Since the 2011 inaugural event held in Las Vegas (2010 if you count the modest 2010 meetup in Washington) the event has gone from strength to strength; taking in cities across the US and Europe, the 2016 event in Anaheim California sold out within seconds of tickets going online – all 12,000 of them. Check the video above for a cameo appearance by Jeb – ably demonstrating the frustrating experience of trying to buy tickets for such a staggeringly popular one time event.
With that in mind, this years event won’t be enjoyed by a select lucky few, in fact the new MINECON Earth isn’t even an offline event. Specifics are scarce so far, but expect a live stream 90 minutes in total, free and accessible for anyone who wants to tune in. The event is planned for November 18th. While full details are yet to be confirmed, the initial response from the community has been somewhat knee-jerk.
What’s seemingly been missed by a large portion of commentators so far, is another announcement on the Mojang blog today where Owen Jones writes:
we’re also planning a whole new type of Minecraft show. One that will take place a little closer to home. We’re excited to present: Official Minecraft Community Events!
Unlike previous MINECONs, these local gatherings will be hosted by community-led partners such as Minefaire, Minevention and Blockfest (a brand new event by the nice folks at Multiplay. These partners (along with many more to come) have gained our official stamp of approval to throw authentic in-person Minecraft experiences. You’ll get to meet your favourite YouTubers and streamers, compete in tournaments and costume contests, see unique content and more.
Mojang COO Vu Bui talks about this in more detail in the following video released today as well:
I think the move is a smart one. Looking at the two announcements together it seems as though MINECON Earth will serve as something of a yearly keynote address to the community to rally around online; with smaller regionally independent run shows happening year round, echoing what MINECON has traditionally offered: offline events, a chance to meet famous YouTubers, watch panels and demos etc.
Rather than a single MINECON show hopping back and forth across the Atlantic, expect to see multiple shows on multiple continents That would ultimately mean more accessibility for more fans, and less frustration. Of course the whole concept hinges on what experience third party event partners are able to deliver to fans, and of course, what exactly the MINECON Earth event actually offers too. Stay tuned!