The history of video games goes back nearly 70 years. In that time, we have witnessed thousands of games that have appeared on dozens of different platforms. However, very few of the games that came out managed to put their name among the legends. Minecraft, released in 2011, is one of these productions, with its impact on the gaming world and sales of over 200 million.
Have you ever wondered about the story of this production, which has been the world’s most-regarded game in just 10 years? We’ve researched the story of Minecraft and what makes it so popular.
How did Minecraft get to this point?
It all started when a software developer named Markus Alexej Persson (Notch) was inspired by an old game. Notch, who was interested in games and game development from an early age, was not a very successful student in school life. But his interest in the software led him to find a job at King, a Swedish gaming company when he was just 18. King, the developer of popular games such as Candy Crush, helped Notch gain experience with the game development process.
After working as a software developer for various gaming companies until 2009, Notch wanted to develop his own game and started working on his project Minecraft, inspired by a game called Infiniteminer. He shared the game, which he completed in a week, on a forum called TIGSource before launching it. Minecraft, which was quickly popular on TIGSource, was supported by the communities on the forum. Therefore, Notch resigned from his job and started a company called Mojang Studios, only to work on this project.
Released on November 18, 2011, after two years of development, the game sold millions in a short period. Thanks to its constantly updated content and endless possibilities, the production attracted users and caused YouTube game videos to the peak. PewDiePie, the owner of the world’s largest individual YouTube channel, even made its debut with Minecraft videos.
Minecraft’s great success soon attracted the attention of large companies. By 2014, Microsoft made a $2.5 billion offer to Mojang. After accepting the offer, Notch left the company, selling the studio. Since then, Microsoft has owned the studio and has been able to keep the game alive to this day by continuing to support it. Minecraft, which had its golden age in 2014-2015, became the world’s best-selling game, surpassing Tetris with 200 million sales in 10 years.
Where does Minecraft’s success come from?
Today, studios with thousands of employees spend hundreds of millions of dollars developing games. But many of them don’t come close to Minecraft’s success. So what did Notch do right? How did the game, developed by one person, make a difference to studios with almost unlimited resources? There are three different reasons for this.
Minecraft has very low system requirements and works smoothly on almost any system. The game stands out for its variety and content of gameplay rather than graphics, thus reaching more users. Another reason that contributes to accessibility is the platforms it comes out of. Microsoft and Mojang are doing their best to bring the game to as many platforms as possible. To date, there is even an Amazon Kindle version of the game for PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series, PS5, Windows Phone, WiiU, Apple TV, Linux, iOS, macOS, Nintendo Switch, an ebook tablet.
Community and content
With a large community of players, Minecraft manages to keep the community alive with new content. With serious mod support as well as the studio’s innovations, the game offers an experience you can play without getting bored for 10 years. The production, which has infinite possibilities, does not limit the players in terms of what it can do. Players can build buildings, cities, or even a whole country if they want to.
One of the most unique aspects of Minecraft is its purpose. The game, in which players do not have any final missions to perform, does not ask you to save the princess or expel the occupiers from your country. Everything that is done in Minecraft is done at the request of the players. This makes players feel free and their creative side emerges.
Minecraft, the world’s best-selling game with all this, remains popular today, albeit up and down, and doesn’t seem to be losing that popularity anytime soon.