After five years on the PC market, and over three full years of "official" availability across multiple platforms, Minecraft remains one of the most important and most played projects of the last decade. Gamers with varying levels of experience, from all walks of life, have joined together in the world of Minecraft to play, to build, and sometimes, to give each other grief. The game has evolved over the years, refining the experience with gameplay improvements, bug fixes, new features, and DLC content packs - providing new assets, and subsequently new reasons, to continue pushing the boundaries of the ever-changing experience.
It's hard to imagine that, just one year ago, users celebrated the addition of mountable companions (horses and donkeys that could be ridden into battle) - since, in the subsequent time, Minecraft has opened its doors to a wide variety of branded content. For an added price, Microsoft console players have been able to utilize textures and skins from their favorite entertainment brands, including Skyrim, Mass Effect, and The Avengers, among others - and now, developer 4J Studios has announced that a Guardians of the Galaxy skin pack is also en route.
To coincide with the forthcoming release of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy feature film, Minecraft is welcoming 24 new playable avatar skins into the game: Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Thanos, Nova, and Adam Warlock, among others.
Check out images of the Guardians of the Galaxy skin pack below (courtesy of Play XBLA). Click to enlarge:
Unfortunately for PC and PlayStation gamers, the DLC pack is currently only announced for Microsoft consoles (Xbox One and Xbox 360). This might come as a blow to players who were enticed back to the world of Minecraft at the possibility of building a full-fledged recreation of the Guardians' ship (The Milano) or Nova Corps space prison (the Kyln) but the partnership between Microsoft, 4J Studios, and Marvel is nothing new - given that Avengers and Spider-Man themed packs have also been exclusive to Xbox 360.
Of course, previously exclusive packs could eventually come to other platforms as well - especially since 4J Studios is also responsible for development on the Playstation platforms (they even released Sony-themed skins on PS3). That said, the developer has yet to openly indicate that the Marvel exclusives are on track for release on non-Microsoft systems. As a result, for now, Sony and PC players should not hold their breath.
Microsoft and 4J Studios have yet to unveil an official release date for the Guardians of the Galaxy DLC pack on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. However, with Guardians of the Galaxy set to hit U.S. theaters in only two days (from the time of this writing), it's safe to assume that the skin pack is not far behind - and could possibly launch alongside the Xbox One version debut (sometime in August). Without question, the developer will be motivated to strike while the movie is hot - meaning that we could see the Xbox 360 skin pack pushed out on its own, assuming it is ready, should Minecraft on Xbox One release later in the month (or get delayed).
We'll keep you up to date as further official information is available (such as a confirmed release date and price).
Minecraft is currently available on the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and mobile platforms - with Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita versions releasing in August. The Guardians of the Galaxy DLC pack does not currently have an official release date.
Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theaters on August 1st, 2014.
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