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coming soon to a phone near you

Microsoft hopes Minecraft Earth will be the new Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go became an instant phenomenon when launched in the summer of 2016. Could Minecraft Earth be just as massive?

Microsoft on Friday announced Minecraft Earth, a free-to-play augmented reality version of the hit game Minecraft. Similar to Pokémon Go, Minecraft Earth adds the game's elements onto the real world using a phone's camera. Minecraft, in which players create their own worlds and craft items to survive against enemies, has nearly 100 million monthly players, VentureBeat reports.

A trailer for Minecraft Earth released on Friday gives off a similar vibe to the marketing for Pokémon Go, showing that players will be able to build anywhere they go. The official Minecraft Earth website notes that players will also be able to collaborate with others and "team up" for "mini-adventures." After spending some time with the game, Polygon described it as "a lot like Pokémon Go, except deeper, richer, more ambitious and more technically advanced."

Microsoft is just the latest company to jump into augmented reality with Minecraft Earth. Niantic, the same company behind Pokémon Go, is also working on an augmented reality Harry Potter game called Wizards Unite, which launches in 2019.

No release date is set for Minecraft Earth, but The Verge reports a closed beta will take place this summer. Watch the trailer below. Brendan Morrow