For The First Time: The Secret Meaning Of Village & Pillage

For the very first time, Minecraft Java Edition and Minecraft Bedrock have both received the same themed update at the same time.

The Village and Pillage Update has arrived! Well, that’s probably old news by now for most of you by now since the announcements have been hyped up everywhere. But there’s something you may not have noticed or thought about with this release. Something that could set the stage for a very different future in the Minecraft community.

For the very first time, Minecraft Java Edition and Minecraft Bedrock have both received the same themed update at the same time.

This is bigger news than you might initially realize, because it means that not only do the versions have nearly complete parity on the surface, but that the company is starting to treat them similarly in some very significant ways.

This is the first release ever where we’ve updated Java and Bedrock at the same time! I’m so proud of all of my colleagues in Stockholm and Redmond for this excellent update. Love you all! 💜 Hope you enjoy it, Minecrafters!

— Aubrey Norris 🥴 (@Chupacaubrey) April 23, 2019

Why This Is Big News

With the Village and Pillage Update, parity between the versions was quite important. A number of commands, items, and mechanics found on each version were translated and added to the other (like dyeable Leather Armor being added to Java, and off-hand items being added to Bedrock, to name a couple).

Throughout the whole update process for Village and Pillage, we’ve also seen Bedrock get several new version numbers (1.8, 1.9, 1.10, and finally 1.11) to bring it ever closer to Java Edition’s “1.14” number. As we come towards a Java 1.15 release, we can no doubt expect to see 1.12, 1.13, and 1.14 being released for Bedrock in the mean time. Which means that the next major update will have the same number for both editions of the game.

While there are definitely still some things missing from Bedrock that we can sometimes take for granted of over in the Java side of the community, the rapid-fire updates between 1.12 and 1.15 for Bedrock will surely see the two versions even more closely resembling each other.

The conclusion is simple: The Village and Pillage update being released on both platforms on the same day is a trial-run for a future where the two versions of the game are treated much more like one single unit than as two distinct editions.

It’s not unknown that today’s Java developers and server owners share a bit of disdain for Bedrock players. Whether that’s because they believe Bedrock “is for kids”, or they don’t like Mojang’s policies with the EULA, or they claim that Bedrock controls are bad, some Java players definitely feel that they are on the superior platform. Go into Minecraft’s Official Discord Server (which just broke 200,000 members on the same day as the V&P release), and you’ll see debates about how Java is better than Bedrock (and vice-versa) every few hours.

Java players may have a point with some of their comments, though. Which is why we’re seeing Mojang release Dedicated Server Software for Bedrock, a Scripting and Modding API, and encouraging developers, map-makers, and server owners to send them feedback on the game’s features. Bedrock has been getting a lot of attention as new releases arrive seemingly every few weeks, and in the future those releases are going to be right in line with Java’s.

What This Means For The Future

If you look at the announcements for Village & Pillage for both Bedrock and Java Edition on the homepage, you’ll notice the message displayed clearly: Mojang wants the game, and therefore the playerbase, to be united, not dividedTogether they create a seamless image, and while the two sides of that image accurately depict two groups currently at war with each other, they are still two halves of the same story.

This is a massive undertaking based on the current state of the Minecraft community, but it is one worth pursuing. It will reduce confusion about differences between the versions and release schedules, increase collaboration between the two playerbases as they explore different mechanics together, and make the community overall a healthier place to be.

At the end of the day, the debate should not be about which version is better, but about how to safely protect Villagers on all devices from those nasty new Pillagers. Because truth be told, we’re all going to need a little help with that particular challenge.

What do you think? Does the future for all versions of Minecraft look brighter to you because of this change in how the Village & Pillage release was handled, or do you see the parity of Java and Bedrock as a bad thing? Sound off in the comments below, or join our Discord server and let’s keep the conversation going over there.

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