Almost two years after its initial planned release, development on the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack has ended. The Minecraft Super Duper Graphics pack would have brought 4K resolution and a host of other graphical improvements to the game.
Mojang announced the pack’s cancellation in a post on the Minecraft website. According to Mojang, the pack was too demanding for Minecraft’s engine, which made Super Duper Graphics Pack performance unsatisfactory on multiple devices. The developers noted, however, that they are “looking into other ways” for players to experience Minecraft with a new look, and said they would soon be able to share information about how they’re trying to “make the most” of each platform’s technical architecture.
The Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack was announced during E3 2016 with a planned fall 2016 release. The trailer for the graphics pack showed off impressive visuals, with realistic water textures, metal textures that reflect light, 3D-rendered mine cart tracks, longer draw distances, god rays during sunsets, better lighting, and crisper textures in general.
A Minecraft developer confirmed in a Reddit comment in April 2018 that the team was still working on the pack at the time. The dev said the Bedrock engine’s graphical component “was quite honestly simply not built for this,” so the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack was much more work than the team anticipated. Windows Central reported in April 2019 that sources on the Minecraft team said the pack had required a “significant re-write” of the graphics engine to implement ray tracing and other advanced graphical features. At the time, the team was apparently still working on the pack, but in the three-and-a-half months since then, it appears development hit a wall.
Minecraft Earth, the AR mobile game revealed earlier this year, will allow Minecraft fans to build with Minecraft blocks in the real world. Players can build in small, “table-top” scale and then blow their creations up to life-size. With the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack canceled, perhaps the promising free-to-play mobile title will provide some of the pack’s promised realism, if only in an entirely different way.