Minecraft updates are a big deal, as you’d expect from the most popular game in the world. Mojang doesn't charge for their big, game-changing expansions either, which makes the game a uniquely good value in many ways and normally means the players are happy too, like Dislyte.
Except for the upcoming 1.19 update due on June 7, they aren’t happy at all. Reddit posts calling 1.19 "abysmal" have been heavily upvoted, Twitter users listing the missing parts, and YouTubers have been vocal about the disappointment they feel regarding what could have been a massive moment for the game. This isn’t even the first time this has happened either, with last year seeing the same complaints after the Microsoft-owned Mojang made some big promises, only to underdeliver.
Actions speak louder than words
The problems started last year when Mojang promised to change Minecraft in a massive way and they did. The Caves and Cliffs update changed the look of the game, adding new depth and height for builders, as well as visually stunning new mountains, caves, lush caves, and more.
However, the company also promised many other new, highly anticipated features would be coming to Minecraft, that are yet to materialize. Things like Bundles, a proposed solution to the inventory space issue, have been on the list of things coming soon since 2020, but are still no closer to being in the game despite being announced as part of several updates before being removed.
Now, with 1.19 on the horizon, Minecraft has once more been forced to cut some items that were initially promised, like fireflies or the new birch forests. Some fans have pointed out that players are still getting a lot of new content, including the Warden and his underground lairs, but the complaints have persisted, and grown in volume as 1.19 draws near.
Perception is the issue
The crux of the mounting level of player frustration may not really lie with the update itself, but the gap between the initial promises Mojang made when promoting the 1.19 update and what they will actually be able to deliver.
While it is ideal to generate headlines with your "wow factor" presentations on new content, it may be more beneficial for Mojang to aim to underwhelm at first if the attention they generate with their presentations is equal to or less than the anger created when they have to walk back their promises.
The reality is also that the company has created this situation by setting expectations for updates in this way. At one time, updates were mainly bug fixes that might add a couple of new things. But the recent switch to making them "events" comparable to new game releases has created a level of expectation the company cannot match.
This also somewhat fits into a larger issue of Mojang not being able to meet commitments to players, with communication at the heart of many grievances, be it about bug fixes, updates or anything else. The company could improve matters greatly by seeking to underpromise and overdeliver. But that likely doesn’t generate the impressions an owner like Microsoft will want from their $2.5 billion game, and may not be possible.