Perhaps when you look at the title, you’d think that this was more of an interesting question back in late 2011 when the initial buzz was kicking in for Minecraft. But upon coming across the recent UK gaming charts, the fact that I was surprised to see Mojang’s smash hit creation was in a respectable 11th place, it had me questioning just how it has maintained its popularity for such a long period of time.
There’s plenty of explanations as to why its so beloved worldwide. Its accessible to all age groups, which is aided by releasing on numerous different platforms to reach a vast audience. Its easy to pick up, has a simplistic yet effective art design, offers different approaches to playing, and ultimately you are only limited by your imagination, which is something that many gamers seem to strive for.
Sales statistics speak for themselves, its well documented after all as to how successful the franchise is financially. But its interesting to look at the core of what makes it so relevant, and how it still appeals (and sells) in 2017. Me personally, I was a latecomer to Minecraft, having only played the demo many moons ago, I was introduced to the full game by friends back in 2016. Maybe it was my fondness of Lego growing up, or the sheer amount of freedom that was on offer, either way I found it to be an enjoyable experience that took up far more time than I expected it to (especially when spending hours trying to build the tree house from Adventure Time).
You’ve got console editions, pocket versions, a Virtual Reality release with Oculus Rift, seasonal and other additional content, and even a Telltale adaptation in Minecraft Story Mode. Top that with the sheer amount of merchandise on offer and other ways of immersing its vast fanbase with its product. It was also something that had very little to no advertising budget prior to its release, similar to many cases with indie games. Yet no indie game has so far been able to touch Minecraft in terms of how it skyrocketed to fame.
Clearly the idea of Minecraft still serves a purpose as proven by sales, but the core principle of your imagination being the only limitation in such a simplistic game is something that continues to withstand the test of time.
Do you still play Minecraft? Do you have a theory as to why its still so popular? Let us know in the comments below!