This gallery serves as a reminder of the Minecraft that could have been. It looked incredible. [credit: Mojang / Sam Machkovech ]
After announcing a plan to completely overhaul Minecraft's visual engine in 2017, the game's developers at Mojang have finally come clean: the "Super Duper Graphics Pack" is no longer coming to the hugely popular sandbox game.
The update's E3 2017 announcement sent tongues wagging thanks to an incredible trailer, which bathed the game's familiar, blocky environs with a newly dynamic shadow-and-light model, crepuscular rays, screen-space reflections, material-based lighting, and more. Keeping in line with its description as a "pack," the update left the game's raw assets untouched, which made it seem similar to other existing "texture packs" sold within modern Minecraft games. All of this would even run in 4K resolution on supported hardware, Mojang said, and it promised a free launch by "fall 2017."
Once that date slipped, Mojang became wholly mum about the pack's existence until Monday. That's when Mojang confirmed the project's cancellation in a brief, official blog post. In it, the company told fans, "Unfortunately, the pack proved too technically demanding to implement as planned." Instead of offering technical details, Mojang went on to blame the update's problems on "how the pack performed across devices."