Minecraft is an electronic game developed by the Swedish video game developer Mojang Studios.
It is a 3D sandbox game that has no required goals to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game.
Minecraft is geared toward a wide audience. However, elementary school children through those in their mid-teens particularly enjoy playing it. By 2016 Minecraft was the second highest seller in video game history, behind Tetris. (Tetris allows players to rotate falling blocks strategically to clear levels.)
The game was created by Markus “Notch” Persson in the Java programming language.
The first edition of Minecraft, called Java Edition, was made by Notch during a weekend in early May 2009. The game was initially released to the public in May 17 on the TIGSource forum, a forum for Independent game developers. After feedback from his peers, Notch updated the game to, which nowadays is called, the Classic version. A few more updates were released during the next couple of months, the Indev and Infdevs versions, before the first major update, Alpha, was released June 30 2010. It was around this time that Minecraft was beginning to pick up speed.
As the early funding was player-based, Minecraft was one of the first indie games to truly use Youtube and other similar media platforms to market itself successfully. Many of today’s biggest gaming influencers used Minecraft to exert themselves on their respective channels, to gather and sustain viewers. The story of Minecraft is a great example of synergy in the world of gaming.
The game has been adapted for mobile devices, Xbox, and PlayStation. In Minecraft, players create their own game rather than follow the game plan of the developer. The game has few instructions or rules. To make up for the lack of guidance, players have set up online forums to discuss the game. Some also have made YouTube videos with tips on how to play. These actions have helped to spread the game’s popularity.
On 15 September 2014, Microsoft announced a $2.5 billion deal to buy Mojang, along with the ownership of the Minecraft intellectual property. The deal was suggested by Persson when he posted a tweet asking a corporation to buy his share of the game after receiving criticism for enforcing terms in the game’s end user license agreement (EULA), which had been present in the EULA in the prior three years. According to Persson, Mojang CEO Carl Manneh received a call from a Microsoft executive shortly after the tweet, asking if Persson was serious about a deal. Mojang was also approached by other companies including Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts. The deal with Microsoft was arbitrated on 6 November 2014, and led to Persson becoming one of Forbes’ “World’s Billionaires”.
Two years later Microsoft obtained the educational branch of Minecraft. Minecraft: Education Edition is designed to enhance the school curriculum as a supplement to class lessons. It includes lesson plans for
teachers in multiple subjects, including coding, history, geography, and math. Examples of tasks include building an Egyptian pyramid, solving math puzzles, and devising a plan to colonize Mars. These activities
are intended to encourage creativity, problem-solving skills, and teamwork. Multiple schools around the world—including in the United States, Australia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom—have incorporated these lessons into the curriculum.
On 31 August 2010, Minecraft players descended at the behest of creator Markus “Notch” Persson upon a damp park in Bellevue, Washington, USA, for what would be the first official real-world gathering of the game’s fans. Although not a convention in the traditional sense, Notch dubbed the informal meet-up “MinecraftCon 2010” – a moniker that would inspire the first proper Minecraft convention the following year. Around 50 people braved the torrential rain for MinecraftCon 2010, including one hardy soul who turned up in a fully functional cardboard Creeper suit.
Much of the building game’s stratospheric success can be attributed to the passion of its online fanbase. The Minecraft community has produced millions of forum posts, generated billions of YouTube video views and shared countless in-game creations. Featuring community-generated content on almost every conceivable Minecraft topic – including mods and maps, survival tips and advice on making the most of creative mode – Minecraft Forum had 3,473,458 registered users as of 30 January 2015. It had played host to more than two million threads and a mind-blowing 26 million posts.
In September 2019, The Guardian classified Minecraft as the best video game of (the first two decades of) the 21st century, and in November 2019 Polygon called the game the “most important game of the decade” in its 2010s “decade in review”. In December 2019, Forbes gave Minecraft a special mention in a list of the best video games of the 2010s, stating that the game is “without a doubt one of the most important games of the last ten years.” In June 2020, Minecraft was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
Minecraft has since been ported to several other platforms and is the best-selling video game of all time, with over 238 million copies sold and nearly 140 million monthly active users as of 2021.
Minecraft is more than just a game – its impact on our society and the popularity it holds, has seen it being transformed into movies, documentaries, novels, physical merchandise and music.