Anyone watching a gamer playing Minecraft via the interactive livestreaming platform can instantly add new features such as zombies, skeletons, pigs and food into the world by clicking on buttons next to the broadcast. They can also change the weather and time of day; so, suddenly plunging a world into night-time could unleash a horde of Creepers, the most dangerous characters in the game.
The iOS and Android mobile versions of Minecraft will also have Mixer built into them, letting people livestream their worlds from their devices wherever they are, without having to log into a separate app.
“There are millions of people who watch Minecraft every day,” said Ben Favreau, Product Manager at Mixer. “The stuff we are introducing now is really unique; there has never been the opportunity for viewers to participate in this way.
“We have given Minecraft broadcasters so many tools, but they are so creative and have so much passion that we’re sure they will create shows we haven’t even thought of. We are really excited to see what people build.”
Broadcasters can decide on the type of items and characters that viewers can introduce and the rate at which they are spawned, so their world won’t be overrun with zombies, for example.
Microsoft, which owns Minecraft and Mixer, believes the move to bring the two franchises together will result in even greater collaboration among players, as the low-latency times in Mixer mean viewers will see their decisions appear in Minecraft worlds in less than a second.
“The founders of Mixer met while playing Minecraft, and they have developed these new features themselves,” said Aubrey Norris, Senior Global Communications Manager at Minecraft. “They have given people another opportunity to play together.”
The tie-up comes just a month after the release of an update that lets fans play together across operating systems. The Better Together Update lets people team up with friends regardless of what platform they are using – Xbox, Windows, Apple, Google or virtual reality. Players can also create a world on a console or Windows PC and continue building it on a mobile phone.
Minecraft is one of the most popular computer games of all time, with 122 million copies sold to date – including four to people in Antarctica. Since the beginning of 2016, more than 53,000 copies have been sold every day, and 55 million people play Minecraft every month.