Called the Super Duper Graphics Pack, the update would significantly improve the visual assets of the game and add a new dimension to the blocky universe.
While Tuesday's announcement is the first time Mojang has addressed the issues with the Graphics Pack in an official statement from the studio at large, individual developers at the company have previously spoken out on Reddit and elsewhere, explaining the problems the development team was facing, including needing to rewrite much of the graphics portion of the game's Bedrock Engine from scratch to accommodate the potential improvements. Mojang announced the cancellation today in a blog post, stating that "the pack proved too technically demanding to implement as planned".
Mojang announced Tuesday morning that it has ceased development on Minecraft's Super Duper Graphics Pack, citing technical difficulties.
"We realise this is disappointing to some of you-there was a lot of enthusiasm for Super Duper from inside and outside the studio-but unfortunately, we aren't happy with how the pack performed across devices", Mojang said.
The Super Duper Graphics Pack was meant for all devices that supported the bedrock update, from Xbox One to Windows and even Nintendo Switch. This would have introduced volumetric lighting, textures with reflective surfaces, dynamic shadows, the conversion of flat textures to 3D models, and more.
While we may not ever know the full reason why this pack was pulled, it may have been a project that simply took too long to develop for low-end consoles.
A spokesperson from the studio reached out to Kotaku via email, stating they had "tried to solve Super Duper for a long time" and that they were now exploring alternative options with their Render Dragon graphics engine.
It's a bit weird that we can now play many photorealistic titles in 4K 60FPS on the Xbox One X, including games from Microsoft (Halo 5: Guardians, or Forza Motorsport 7 to name a few), but Mojang hasn't been able to leverage the 6 teraflops of computing power on what Microsoft is marketing as the most powerful console on the market.