Mass Effect and Minecraft aren’t all that similar. When you look at their gameplay they have nothing in common, one being a first person survival crafting game, the other a third person action RPG space adventure. However if you look at it thematically, they are perhaps closer than first meets the eye with creation and world building being key components of both franchises. While Minecraft is a more literal interpretation that allows players to literally shape the world physically, Mass Effect is about building your own world through narrative, decision making and character interaction. With that in mind, both franchises look to be on the verge of getting married.
Both Minecraft and Mass Effect are currently waiting for new console updates so in the meantime, here is something to tide Xbox 360 players over. On September 4th, fans will be able to literally build their own Mass Effect playground as Mojang and BioWare have announced a Mash-Up between the franchises on the Xbox 360 for $3.99.
In what is called the “first Mash-up” from 4J Studios, the add-on will have a substantial amount of Mass Effect themed content that will transform the world of Minecraft. Players will get Mass Effect specific materials and items to craft, as well as “36 pixel-perfect Mass Effect character skins and 22 music tracks from the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack.” On top of that, gamers will be able to explore a pre-made location in the form of the Cerberus Mars Facility, which has been recreated from the early parts of Mass Effect 3. How faithfully the facility has been adapted, including the size of the map, has not yet been specified.
One of the reasons that Minecraft has become so successful and remains playable for hardcore fans is due of the thriving community that surrounds it. The painstakingly accurate recreations and extensive mod lists is what has kept PC gamers playing for years after launch. While the Xbox 360 has had substantial updates, it hasn’t had much in the way of the way of add-ons. Hopefully this Mash-Up will give both Minecraft and Mass Effect fans reason to keep exploring and shaping their own worlds.
It is worth keeping in mind that even for a cheap price, Micecraft players won’t be used to paying for modded content. More experienced PC gamers have been adding and subtracting from their Minecraft experiences free and at will for years and it remains to be seen just how many players are willing to pay for that ability on the Xbox 360. The seal of approval of Mojang, BioWare and EA could be enough to entice fans and, as indicated when called the “first Mash-Up”, if the add-on does well there is always the possibility of more franchise mashups in the future.
Who knows what’s in store for Minecraft when it comes to Xbox One and makes the jump to the PlayStation family, as it will release on the Vita, PS3 and PS4. With themed crossover DLC such as this, the potential for future monetization is limitless.
The Mass Effect Minecraft: Xbox 360 Mash-Up Pack add-on will be available to download on September 4, 2013 on the Xbox 360.