To celebrate the 11th birthday of Minecraft on Sunday, we put together a list of 11 facts you just have to know about the worldwide phenomenom.
1) Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time
Minecraft is currently sitting at around 180 million copies sold with no real signs of slowing down. Its initial success was bolstered in 2014 when Microsoft purchased the rights for 2.4 billion dollars! In 2018, Microsoft announced that Minecraft had 90 million active monthly players! Maintaining such massive popularity over the course of a decade is incredibly uncommon when new flashy games come out every month. It’s easier with competitive games where annual tournaments and prize pools can keep players coming back, but Minecraft thrives on creativity.
2) It wasn’t done when it was first released
The earliest versions of Minecraft that were released were far from finished. For a discounted price, you could buy the game while it was still in its building stages, with an understanding that the game was incomplete and came with problems that still needed working on. This has since become an incredibly popular (albeit controversial) model for independent game creators called “Early Access.”
3)The game still gets regular updates
Some of the most iconic and popular features in Minecraft have come in the form of these updates. Horses, “The End” (a way to actually “beat” the game), and golems have all been added in the years since the initial release. 2019 saw the addition of pandas, cats, new villagers, and pillagers. Minecraft Dungeons, a combat-focused take on Minecraft, is set to be released in late May 2020.
4) Updates are announced at the annual Minecraft convention called MineCon
The first official MineCon happened in 2011, only two years after the release of the alpha version of the game. It still rallied 5,000 people to Las Vegas to discuss and celebrate. Over the following 6 years, MineCon would average around 10,000 attendees in various cities around the world. MineCon 2017 saw the format switched to an interactive livestream. Communities have still gathered to watch these events in person, with your very own Living Computers Museum hosting the event in 2018—complete with Minecraft-themed workshops and photo ops.
5) Players can add their own content to the game
Player-made modifications, called mods
, allow players to customize their gameplay. They range from adding new animals to adding entire new worlds. Some change the aesthetic of the game to allow for a less blocky experience. In the future (if not already), we’ll see a whole generation of programmers that learned to code with their own Minecraft projects.
6) Minecraft has been praised for its educational potential
Minecraft is a creative game popular with students. Educators around the world have used the game to teach their students. Minecraft: Education Edition
came out in 2016 and includes support for language arts, science, history, computer science, math, and art. Through June 2020, to help support remote learning, the Education Edition is available to all educators and learners with a valid Office 365 account. Visit education.minecraft.net
for more information.
7) Massive recreations are popular in Minecraft
People tend to build structures and places they are familiar with while playing Minecraft. Cities and landmarks are a given, but some have taken it much
further. One such showstopper is a team that is building out the entirety of Lord of the Ring’s Middle Earth. Another team has set their sights on recreating the actual E
arth. Others have created working computers
in Minecraft using the built-in circuitry materials in the game.
8) Minecraft was inspired by a game called Infiniminer
Infiniminer was a short-lived gaming project involving blocks, building, and mining. The game gained some popularity when released in 2009, but a source code leak allowed for hackers to openly change and redevelop the game. The independent creator of the game then dropped the project and Infiniminer
might’ve been lost to gaming history if it hadn’t gone on to directly inspire Minecraft.
9) The game’s most iconic enemy started out as a glitched pig
is an incredibly obnoxious monster that roams around the Minecraft world. If it finds itself within a few feet of you, it’ll self-detonate and destroy all the blocks around it. This can make short work of a nice little structure you’ve been working on. Especially if it can get inside your building
. But the whole creature is the result of a pig model gone wrong, resulting in a weird creature with an extended torso.
10) You can play Minecraft with the Living Computers community on our server!
Our server is online 24/7 and anyone can request access through our website! We hosted an Easter egg hunt last month, and this Sunday (May 17) we will be celebrating Minecraft’s birthday with fireworks! Come join us! Visit https://mc.livingcomputers.org/
11) The default character’s name is Steve. We have our very own Steve at Living Computers and sometimes we make him dress up as Minecraft Steve!