Minecraft Has Now Sold A Staggering 100 Million Copies Worldwide

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It seemed like a strange fit when Microsoft decided to buy Minecraft for close to $2.5 Billion dollars, but unlike other notable acquisition disasters, Minecraft seems to be an unmitigated success. The company just announced that have sold over 100 million copies of the game.

That is a phenomenal number for a game that was a small project never intended to be used by so many people. It went viral and gained fans basically through word of mouth. Originally developed as a java app by Swedish developer Markus Persson or ‘Notch’ as his online persona goes, it was distributed among indie gamers via web forums. The first fully developed version of the game was released in 2011 and has since become a cultural phenomenon.

Minecraft allows players to build a highly detailed world using textured blocks. It also has RPG elements baked into the game which extends to gathering resources, exploration and an adventure mode where players can play maps created by other players. There is also a spectator mode where you just fly around taking in the sights.

Microsoft’s numbers show that the game sold an average of 53000 copies a day during 2016 and has been largely responsible for the jump in the company’s revenue from games. Minecraft is also being developed by Microsoft as a ‘killer app’ to help launch its Hololens platform. Early reviews about the game being played in augmented reality are overwhelmingly positive.

Another area where the game is seeing traction is in the area of education and AI. A special education edition of the game has been launched for schools while scientists are using the game to train their AI and teach it to make decisions.

It is not often that a game transcends from being an indie success to a mainstream one while keeping all of its cred but that is exactly what Minecraft seems to have done. The data shared by Microsoft shows that game is played by people from every single country on the earth. 4 copies of the game have even been sold to people in Antarctica!

Minecraft now supports an internet cottage industry of sorts with detailed walkthroughs and architectural recreation events very popular on the web.

Microsoft has stuck to its promise of making Minecraft available to players all over the world on a variety of different platforms so far and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. The new Microsoft under Satya Nadella is all about being platform agnostic, something that does not always work for companies that have hardware to sell as well. One thing is certain, though, and that is that the Minecraft phenomenon shows no sign of slowing up.

 

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