Minecraft has cemented its place as one of the few games to continue to grow in users a decade after its original release. While most video games have a shelf-life of less than two years, Mojang Studios seem to be capable of drawing gamers back in time and time again.
Launched in 2009 by Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, a game developer who had previously worked for King, Minecraft received lots of attention even before its official launch. The alpha and beta, available for PC users, lasted two years, which consisted of Mojang fine-tuning aspects of the game for official release.
At the official launch, Notch handed over creative control to Jens Bergensten, a title he has kept since 2011. As millions flocked to this new game, Mojang continued to add new elements to the base experience, enabling more complex creations by its users.
In 2014, rumours of a potential Mojang IPO led to Microsoft acquiring the studio for $2.5 billion. At the time, Microsoft was not as large of a gaming publisher and it wasn’t clear what Microsoft’s plans were for the game. It has since gone on to acquire several game studios, including Double Fine Production, Compulsion Games, Bethesda Studios and Obsidian Entertainment.
With Microsoft at the helm, Mojang continued to expand the Minecraft universe. It also launched several forks of Minecraft, such as a free Chinese edition in 2016 with NetEase and an education edition in the same year. Virtual reality versions of Minecraft are available on Oculus Rift, PlayStation and Microsoft HoloLens.
Between 2016 and 2017, Telltale Games launched Minecraft: Story Mode, which was the first attempt to stretch the IP beyond the sandbox experience. In 2020, Mojang would follow up Telltale with its own expansion, Minecraft Dungeons, a dungeon-crawler available on consoles and PC.
We have collected data and statistics on Minecraft, read on below to find out more.
Minecraft key statistics
- Minecraft generated $415 million revenue in 2020, mobile revenue accounted for $110 million
- Over 130 million people play Minecraft once a month in 2020
- Minecraft has been sold in all formats over 200 million times
- Minecraft’s Chinese edition, which is a free game, has been downloaded over 400 million times
|Launch date||17 May 2009 (PC alpha); 18 November 2011 (General release)|
|People||Jonas Mårtensson (CEO), Vu Bui (COO), Jens Bergensten (CCO), Phil Spencer (Executive VP of Gaming, Microsoft)|
|Owner||Microsoft, through Xbox Game Studios|
Note: Microsoft does not break down revenue in its Xbox Game Studios division. From 2015 to 2020, revenue is estimated based off Minecraft sales, which average $15 per sale, alongside an increase in other revenue (educational, new versions, IAP) from 2017 onwards.
Minecraft mobile revenue
Source: Sensor Tower
|Year||Monthly active users|
Note: This covers monthly active users.
Note: This is total cumulative sales.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition sales
Note: This is total cumulative sales.
Minecraft Chinese edition downloads
How much revenue has Minecraft made since launch?
Minecraft has generated approximately $3 billion over its lifetime in game sales alone (The Verge)
How much did Microsoft pay for Minecraft?
Microsoft acquired Mojang Studios for $2.5 billion in 2014, roughly 20 times the earnings of the company (Fool)
What percentage of Minecraft players are on mobile?
Minecraft’s mobile version is responsible for approximately 30 percent of all revenue generated (Sensor Tower)
In which regions is Pocket Edition the most popular?
Minecraft: Pocket Edition is the most popular version of the game in North America, Asia and South America (US Gamer)
How many views have Minecraft YouTube videos had?
YouTubers viewed Minecraft content 201 billion times in 2020 (Forbes)
How much revenue has Minecraft Marketplace made?
Minecraft Marketplace creators generated $1 million in revenue in two months (VentureBeat)
How many times has Minecraft Earth been downloaded?
Minecraft Earth hit 2.5 million downloads in its first 12 months (Pocket Gamer)