Best answer: The Caves and Cliffs Update does not have a confirmed release date yet. However, Mojang Studios intends to have the Caves and Cliffs Update ready for Minecraft sometime in Summer 2021. That means the wait for Minecraft’s next chapter could last until August of this year. Mojang Studios is already testing Caves and Cliffs Update features in Minecraft’s insider betas and snapshots.
The road to Caves and Cliffs
Minecraft is a global phenomenon of a game, and continues to grow and evolve year over year. Back at Minecon 2019, Mojang Studios laid out a busy year for their open-world survival sandbox with two updates: the minor and adorable Buzzy Bees Update, followed by the absolutely massive and disruptive Nether Update. This followed a traditional tick / tock update cadence where Mojang Studios rotated between smaller and larger releases.
During Minecon 2019, Mojang Studios also held a vote that let the community decide which popular biome would receive an overhaul next. The mountain biome won, and Minecrafters assumed that this would be one of the two updates slated for 2020. At Minecraft Live 2020, Mojang Studios both confirmed this speculation and shirked expectations with the announcement of the incredibly ambitious Caves and Cliffs Update.
Instead of releasing two smaller updates throughout the year, Mojang Studios decided to combine two releases into one mega update. The Caves and Cliffs Update will deliver the promised-makeover for the mountain biome while also completely overhauling the classic but outdated mining experience in Minecraft. Because of the aspirations of the Caves and Cliffs Update for Minecraft, however, Mojang Studios needs extra time to make it all happen.
A window for release
The Caves and Cliffs Update does not have a definitive release date at this time. Mojang Studios still has a lot of work ahead of them to develop, test, and polish the ludicrous number of features and changes coming in the Caves and Cliffs Update. Right now, all Minecraft players have is a gentle release window: Summer 2021. This gives Mojang Studios a window from June to August to finish the Caves and Cliffs Update.
As we get closer to the launch of the Caves and Cliffs Update, we’ll be able to make more educated guesses. Mojang Studios will also certainly release additional information over time. Until then, Mojang Studios will slowly release and test features through Minecraft: Bedrock Edition betas and Minecraft: Java Edition snapshots.
While Summer 2021 is a good indicator of when the Caves and Cliffs Update will launch, it’s worth considering the current landscape of video game development in recent months. Delays for video games are becoming increasingly common because of the difficulty transitioning to a work-from-home structure. Development on Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons doesn’t appear to have stalled or suffered from these changes. Still, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a delay down the road.
If I had to speculate on when the Caves and Cliffs Update would launch later this year, I’d argue mid-August 2021. This gives Mojang Studios plenty of time to polish features and release bug fixes while still staying within their Summer release window.
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Caves and cliffs aplenty
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Minecraft is an inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. Minecraft is shaking things up with the Caves and Cliffs Update, which plans to add an astronomical amount of new features to this already packed game.
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