Minecraft movie isn’t as promising as a Terraria title could be

Let's take a look at some evidence to support this

You can't venture into a store without seeing voxels. Creepers have become a minor icon. Minecraft has permiated the cultural zeitgeist. For better or worse, it will become even more entrenched once the Minecraft movie is released. After all, even a bad movie can bring wider awareness to a property than the original entity.

The thing is, the Minecraft movie isn't the best idea. It isn't a bad thought, by any means. Naturally, it will also practically print money for Warner Bros., Mojang, Microsoft, and anyone else who manages to hop on that bandwagon. (I can't wait to see how they plop product placement into it.) There's another open world sandbox that's just as indie and even more viable as a moneymaking machine. I'm talking about Terraria.

If you don't know what Terraria is, odds are you will. To put it simply, it can be best described as 2D Minecraft. A player has an avatar who sets off in a world to do whatever he or she likes. It's possible to build huge mansions, towns, or bases, even luring NPC characters to inhabit rooms as vendors and pleasant virtual company. There are dungeons and bosses to fight. Special events can even be triggered, like a Blood Moon that sends zombies to assault your settlements or Slime Rain that sends a torrent of blue, green, and purple slimes, maybe even a King Slime, to the world below.


The funny thing is, despite the similarities, open environment and freedom, Terraria's more structured foundation and stylistic decisions make it a much better fit for media like a movie. There are boundaries and framework there that could have resulted in a more promising product than what the Minecraft movie might deliver.

I mean, consider the story. With the Minecraft movie, Warner Bros. is starting from scratch. Every player's tale is different. It doesn't even have anything to do with Steve or Alex being available as default avatars. Each generated world is different. Everyone has a different focus as they play. There's no common thread for each one. It's possible for some people to never encounter an Enderman monster or the Ender Dragon boss.

Terraria might also allow people to do whatever they please, but the implementation of RPG standards mean everyone shares some experiences. Each person will have to experience some sort of combat, while a careful Minecraft player could be a pacifist. There are certain events, like the aforementioned Blood Moon and occasional Goblin Invasion, everyone eventually experiences. Even certain bosses are practically guaranteed to appear in the game, because the triggers are things everyone will end up naturally tripping. You'll definitely fight an Eye of Cthulhu or Skeletron.


This would make crafting a story easier. Shared experiences would result in a more recognizable movie. Especially since the lead up to triggering such events in Terraria is common and often experienced by someone in the first five hours of play. We'd know exactly what kind of tale the movie could tell, where the Minecraft movie is still a mystery, despite being on its second director and having been announced back in February 2014.

The stylistic decisions work against a Minecraft movie as well. There's nothing wrong with voxels. It's a viable presentation method with games. But, it's something that wouldn't lend itself as well to a big screen feature. Especially knowing it will be compared to the Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks animated films. Even The Lego Movie, a movie centered around blocky icons, managed to look smooth and sleek. One has to wonder how pleasing it would be to the eyes.

Conversely, Terraria's 2D presentation would work in its favor. People are always more forgiving when it comes to traditional animation. Also, it would be easier to lend itself to experimentation. This would result in a final product that would greatly resemble the game, but also be considered "pretty."


Timing is an important factor as well. We know how fads go in gaming. Minecraft passed it's peak. We're in the oversaturation phase for it. By the time a movie would be released, people will have moved on to another game. It won't be as prominent.

Despite being of a similar age, Terraria is only just taking its place in the public eye. The success of Minecraft brought it to the forefront, and we're beginning to see merchandise in stores and greater attention paid. The fact that it's received ones of its greatest, and possibly last, updates helps, as does the knowledge that Terraria: Otherworld is on the way. Minecraft doesn't have any sort of successor announced.

The Minecraft movie is going to make serious bank. It might even be good. (Though personally, I wonder since Rob McElhenney has never directed a movie before and we still don't have any sort of synopsis.) It's honestly too big to fail. But, that doesn't mean it's the best indie sandbox candidate for a movie. A Terraria movie could have been so much more promising, so join with me in a wish that someone out there realizes that.