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Microsoft axes Minecraft for Apple TV, no one notices

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Microsoft is throwing in the towel on the Apple TV permutation of Minecraft due to low user numbers, according to a splash screen that — ironically — has been displayed in-game for weeks without mention from mainstream media.

Microsoft ceased support for Minecraft on the Apple TV on Sept. 24, though users are still able to play the game for the foreseeable future. Users can continue to explore the virtual world and use in-app purchases, Microsoft said.

"We're grateful to the Apple TV community for their support, but we need to reallocate resources to the platforms that our players use the most," the splash screen reads.

That Minecraft lacked a vibrant player base shouldn't come as a huge surprise. The pop-up alert presumably appeared weeks ago, yet news of the game's discontinuation is only now making its way to media outlets.

Minecraft's demise is another nail in the coffin for Apple TV's gaming potential. That one of the world's most popular titles was unable to gain traction on Apple TV speaks volumes about the platform and its user base.

Some have criticized Apple for its inability to successfully market Apple TV as a casual gaming console.

When the fourth-generation Apple TV initially launched, Apple required all games support the Siri Remote as well as optional MFi controllers. This policy made it exceedingly difficult for developers to bring more complex games to tvOS, as the Siri Remote is severely limiting and even a bit slow.

Apple changed course and dropped the Siri Remote requirement in 2016, but AAA developers continue to shy away from the platform.

Gaming was never a major selling point for Apple TV, and Apple is seemingly content to let those prospects wither as it shifts focus back to video apps and a rumored first-party streaming service.

Minecraft remains available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.