6 Reasons Why Minecraft Legends Failed So Badly

In Short
  • Minecraft Legends failed to deliver primarily because of the shallow gameplay and the expensive $40 price, as also mentioned in most negative reviews.
  • Also, there is no sense of urgency to protect the villagers, the gameplay loop is utterly repetitive, the multiplayer mode is lackluster and unpolished, and the list goes on.
  • Finally, the blame falls on Mojang Studios, as they did not communicate enough with the players, and the updates for the game were delayed after release.

As you may know, Minecraft Legends is a spin-off strategy game that looks and feels like the original blocky game we all know and love. However, despite its incredible beauty and distinct gameplay, the game didn’t perform very well, seeing a sharp decline in its player base. Due to this, Mojang has now decided to discontinue Minecraft Legends just nine months after its launch. But, what went wrong? Why did the game that was supposed to make you feel like a hero saving the Overworld from piglins get such a cold reception? That’s exactly what we will be discussing today. With that said, let’s jump in and check out the six reasons why Minecraft Legends failed.

1. Repetitive & Shallow Gameplay

The first and most important reason why Minecraft Legends (review) failed to garner an audience is the lackluster, repetitive gameplay experience. The game starts off fun and exciting. Your goal is to defend a village from piglin attackers. Once you do that, you need to take down a simple piglin outpost. Then, a tougher battle occurs which most players seem to really enjoy. However, after that, the whole thing just repeats. You just need to travel to new lands to take those fights.

Same Cause, Same Fight Experience

However, the goal you want to achieve is exactly the same all the time. Go into a piglin outpost and destroy the portal. The End. This repetitiveness is simply tiring, as players don’t receive that same adrenaline boost as they do during the initial battles.

Moreover, the fact that players only have one attack, which is the slicing sword attack, is pretty uninteresting as well. Yes, it’s appealing and satisfying to take down piglins quickly but not enough to make the players want to stick around.

There is no depth to player interaction with the enemies attacking the Overworld. Minecraft could have easily integrated some form of weapon progression into the mix, allowing the player to wield crossbows, tridents, and other weapons that already exist in the realm of Minecraft.

True Strategy Aspect Missing

Furthermore, the point in a strategy game should be the careful analysis of the current situation, creating a plan accordingly, and then executing it successfully. Minecraft Legends does not really offer this, as all the battles are pretty linear and similar, so the plan is always the same. Yeah, once you figure out a strategy that works for you, it’s simple to replicate it across all piglin outpost fights without any major changes.

This game is nothing like the original Minecraft and is quite shallow. After beating the final boss in Minecraft, your game experience expands to various new opportunities. However, in Legends, after you kill the final boss, the game pretty much ends.

The campaign or solo mode lasts for about 8-16 hours depending on the difficulty. After that, there are no additional piglin outposts to destroy, no new exciting challenges to overcome, and no new game mechanics to play around with. The only option left is the multiplayer mode, which is a disappointment in itself, and we’ll cover it a bit later.

2. No Consequences for a Defeat

Apart from infiltrating piglin bases and destroying their portal, as the hero you have to protect the Overworld creatures from evil Nether piggies. Villages are the target of these assaults, and you are the one who needs to fend off these intruders. However, if you do not manage to defeat the piglins, well, no worries. Nothing major will happen. There is no punishment for a defeat. This is okay in certain games but not really in Minecraft Legends.

The consequences should simply make you care about defending a village. You should understand that you will lose something precious or perhaps not gain something valuable if you lose, which will encourage you to give everything you’ve got in a battle. In its current state, if you see a village being attacked in the game, you can just choose to walk away from it. There is no sense of urgency, which does not make you feel like a hero after all.

3. No Active Player Participation

Minecraft Legends encourages you to create an army of golems, creepers, etc., and command them to move to a specific location or attack a structure. Fighting for you, your army has to be the one that destroys piglin portals and towers, so it’s in your best interest to upgrade them.

However, once you have a decently strong army, you don’t have to play the game anymore. You can simply stand around and wait for your golems to take down the piglin bases or even the final boss.

This kind of reduces the importance of the player’s presence, which is certainly not a great feeling. The player should be the main executioner when it comes to important actions and all your other friendly mobs should be the optional support. But it’s not like that in Minecraft Legends. Because of this, the game becomes progressively boring over time and players slowly quit.

4. Directionless Multiplayer Mode

Before its launch in April 2023, a lot of attention was always given to the PvP multiplayer mode of Minecraft Legends. The goal in this mode is to destroy the enemy team’s base while also protecting your own. However, just like the campaign, the battles quickly became repetitive.

Due to the one simple and boring attack and the exact same goal that required you to run down the other player’s base with golems and creepers, the multiplayer mode was not as exciting as it should have been.

Moreover, the game did not provide any sort of competitive system, like scoreboards, nor did it have a communication system in place. You and your friend could mindlessly attack each other’s base in the game, without even having a comms medium like a chat or proximity voice of sorts.

There was also no support for local multiplayer, which is available in other Minecraft games. The online ‘Versus Mode’ was quite shallow, a big miss since the campaign mode was so short and lackluster.

5. Mojang’s Negligence

Minecraft Legends was a massive success at first, with over three million copies being sold in just two weeks. However, the player base for the game started to dwindle rapidly.

Merely one week after launch, 80% of active players had quit, and after two weeks, 92% of the active players base had quit. And now, almost nine months later, 99.9% of players stopped playing this game. There are an average of 30 players playing Minecraft Legends as of December 2023.

Image Courtesy: Steam Charts

After realizing the quick deterioration and loss of interest in their game, Mojang, the game studio that created Minecraft and its spin-off games like Minecraft Legends, should’ve taken immediate action. Though unfortunately, they didn’t.

The game did receive just a couple of updates after release and they didn’t really focus on fixing the flaws in the core gameplay mechanic flaws. Moreover, the game was released with certain annoying bugs and glitches, which repelled people from the start. Not only that, but the first update the game received arrived a bit late (August 2023), such that the players had already quit playing by then.

The remaining players waited eagerly for new announcements and updates for Minecraft Legends that were supposed to be talked about during Minecraft Live 2023. But, Mojang only dedicated 3 minutes and 30 seconds in a 50-minute event to talk about this game, while barely mentioning anything exciting. This pretty much crushed players’ interest even further.

While the game was slowly dying (or was already dead if we see the player chart above), Mojang did not communicate with players, nor did they try to keep them from quitting completely.

Furthermore, a stream with two Minecraft Legends developers happened recently. They discussed the game for about an hour. However, did anyone ever hear about this stream? Or did anyone even join the stream? Well, not really. There was no notification of the event taking place until it already finished. Due to its quick failure, Mojang started treating Legends as if it didn’t even exist.

However, we have to give credit when credit’s due. Mojang didn’t work alone on this RTS game and had some help from another game studio called BlackBird Interactive (BBI). BBI did a far better job when it comes to communication with players. They shared regular community posts letting people know about future developments and news. However, that should’ve also been Mojang’s job, which they possibly didn’t take seriously.

6. Too Expensive

Finally, as the heading already tells you, one of the most frequently mentioned reasons in negative reviews for Minecraft Legends across platforms is 100% its high price. This game costs a whopping $40, while the original Minecraft game costs $30.

When you compare these two games, you’ll realize that Minecraft is infinitely replayable, offers you a lot more creative freedom, and is generally more fun. Whereas, Legends includes a short solo campaign and a pretty shallow multiplayer mode. Because of that, Minecraft Legends is simply not worth the $40 asking price.

To sum it all up, Minecraft Legends failed to deliver on its big promises due to poor execution, not pricing the game fairly, uninspiring gameplay, and poor communication from the developers. This game was hyped greatly, and it’s disappointing to see it fail like this for a die-hard MC fan like me.

We had a lot of hope for it, but since Mojang announced the discontinuation of Minecraft Legends, the game will no longer receive any new updates. What do you think about this game dying in only nine months? Did you play Minecraft Legends when it was released? What are some other reasons for Legends failing so badly? The comment section awaits you below.

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