Minecraft's Super Duper Graphics Pack, originally delayed to 2018, has been declared officially cancelled by developer Mojang. Announced at E3 2017, the graphical update was planned to include dynamic shadows, directional lighting, new textures, and more in order to bring the game up to a 4K high-resolution across all available platforms at once, clearly important as Minecraft has always pushed for cross-platform play.
According to developers, the graphical overhaul project was too ambitious and proved to be too technically demanding for them to implement in the way they wanted. When the Super Duper Graphics Pack was first revealed, there were two planned updates announced: One free for everyone that would've brought the game into the realm of 4K definition, and then one paid, extra expansion that would've included all the special fog lighting and grass movement. Unfortunately, it seems as if the team was unhappy with the way these updates performed across devices.
"We're stopping development on the pack, and looking into other ways for you to experience Minecraft with a new look," Mojang wrote in a blog post on Minecraft.net. "We'll be able to share more on that subject very soon." While no information was given about how they may alter the ideas of the Super Duper Graphics Pack into something new, the post does go on to apologize for not following through on their plans and thanks fans for their patience.
Over the past two years since the announcement of the Super Duper Graphics Pack, there have been relatively few updates concerning its development, prompting multiple Reddit threads to be created in the Minecraft community asking about its absence. Six months ago the Community Manager for the game, Helen Zbihlyj, commented on the pack's progress in one of these threads, stating that coding a new, custom engine for a game that has to support 11 different platforms, including VR, is not a trivial undertaking, and saying "If you would like a quality product that's not rushed and full of bugs, I ask you to please respect the time they need."
After today's announcement, however, it doesn't look like all the time in the world will be enough to complete development on Minecraft's Super Duper Graphics Pack. While surely a disappointment to many fans, it's respectable that Mojang ended development on the planned update in such an upfront manner and stated the reasons why it was happening, instead of just hoping people forget about it and move on. Perhaps, with this kind of influence, maybe people like Valve's Gabe Newell can stop teasing and take the hint about how players would like to be treated.