The Double Elevens of Middlesbrough are hard at work on Minecraft Dungeons, a new game that takes the blocky formula of the original and presents it in a whole new light.
The studio has partnered with the original creators of Minecraft, Mojang, to develop the console editions of the game and its online and multiplayer systems.
Here’s everything we know about the new game:
What are you doing in Minecraft Dungeons?
Minecraft Dungeons is a standalone game in the hit Minecraft franchise.
But unlike the original game, Minecraft Dungeons doesn’t have any crafts or buildings. You won’t even have the option of destroying blocks!
Instead, it focuses on being a dungeon robot game; a game in which the heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, fight monsters, avoid traps, solve puzzles and loot any treasures they can find.
In Minecraft Dungeons, these dungeons are randomly generated and filled with randomly generated monsters, so no game session will be the same.
“Fight or flee through canyons, swamps and – of course – mines!” says the official game synopsis,
And the reason why are you making your way through these dungeons? You are on an epic quest to save the villagers and defeat the evil “Arch-Illager”.
Players will also have to deal with traps, puzzles, and the search for treasure, and unlike more in-depth RPG-style games, there is no class system.
Instead, players can use any weapon or armor they want, to keep the game more accessible to young Minecraft fans.
âDiscover a wealth of powerful new weapons and items that will help you defeat ruthless swarms of new and evil monsters.
âAny adventurer brave or foolish enough to explore this beautiful blocky world will need to prepare. So quickly, get ready!â
The game will also feature up to four players in cooperative multiplayer mode, so you can take on the dungeons on your own or team up with friends.
When can I play Minecraft Dungeons?
The exact release date for Minecraft Dungeons has yet to be confirmed, but the game is expected to launch in April 2020.
It will be available to play on personal computers (including Macs), as well as all major gaming consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
The game will also arrive on Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s virtual game subscription service – think Netflix for video games.
Users pay Â£ 7.99 per month and have access to a library of over 100 titles to download and play on their console for as long as they are subscribed.
Double Eleven is a Middlesbrough-based game development studio formed in 2009 by former developers from Rockstar Games, the studio behind the hit series Grand Theft Auto.
Originally hired to work exclusively with Sony Computer Entertainment, the team worked on headlines in the early 2010s, including BAFTA-nominated LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation Vita handheld console.
During this working time, Double Eleven has opened an additional studio in Leeds and also has an office in Birmingham. Since becoming independent, the studio has focused on bringing games to new platforms, like the award-winning Goat Simulator.
âIt’s a true honor to help create such an exciting and high-profile version as Minecraft Dungeons,â said Lee Hutchinson, Founder and CEO of Double Eleven.
“This December  will mark Double Eleven’s 10th anniversary, and during that time we have developed a roadmap of technical expertise and creativity. This milestone highlights the next phase of the team’s expansion, and we have more exciting announcements to come this year. “
Double Eleven was named by GamesIndustry.biz as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ in the UK Gaming Industry in 2018 and 2017.
Is the original Minecraft coming to a halt?
There have been reports across the world that the end is near for Minecraft, but it turns out these stories are from the Channel45News prank website.
The story was then picked up by a few legitimate news outlets who failed to realize it was wrong, causing a brief panic through the Minecraft verse.
However, Microsoft’s community manager took to Twitter in early January to clarify: âHello, I can confirm that Minecraft servers will NOT be shut down in 2020. This is just a stupid hoax. not to pass it on. “
Minecraft is far from the door of death, and last May the game celebrated its 10th anniversary with Microsoft announcing that it had sold 176 million copies to date.
That makes it one of the best-selling games of all time, beating the latest Grand Theft Auto by around 60 million copies.
At the same time, a new Minecraft game has also been announced – a Pokemon Go-esque augmented reality version called Minecraft Earth that will see players working together to build things in the real world.
Minecraft also remains the most popular game on YouTube, with Minecraft-related content responsible for around 100 billion views on the video platform.