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’ hit game has acquired new users every year, alongside having bursts of older players returning.
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, in which time Mojang fine-tuned aspects of the game and added more content.
At the official launch, Notch handed over creative control to Jens Bergensten, a title he has kept for more than a decade. He is still in creative control of the bedrock edition.
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.
Mojang has said it is not interested in building a Minecraft 2, so we should expect more branches out of the IP instead of a new base game. It will also continue adding more detail to the original game, and the modding community is still very active.
We have collected data and statistics on Minecraft, read on below to find out more.
Minecraft key statistics
- Minecraft generated $380 million revenue in 2021, mobile revenue accounted for $110 million
- Over 130 million people play Minecraft once a month in 2020
- Minecraft has been sold in all formats over 200 million times
- Minecraft’s Chinese edition, which is a free game, has been downloaded over 400 million times
|Title 1||Title 2|
|Launch date||17 May 2009 (PC alpha); 18 November 2011 (General release)|
|People||Jonas Mårtensson (CEO), Jens Bergensten (CCO), Phil Spencer (Executive VP of Gaming, Microsoft)|
Microsoft does not break out Minecraft revenue from its Xbox Game Studios. Our estimate is based on Minecraft and Pocket Edition sales, alongside other revenue sources.
Minecraft annual revenue 2012 to 2021 ($mm)
Sources: GamesBrief, PC Gamer, The Verge, VentureBeat
Minecraft mobile revenue
Minecraft’s mobile edition made $161 million in 2021, accounting for 42% of the game’s total revenue.
Minecraft mobile revenue 2012 to 2021 ($mm)
Source: Sensor Tower
Minecraft had an estimated 93 million MAUs in 2021. Its peak MAUs were 131 million in 2020.
Minecraft monthly active users 2016 to 2021 (mm)
Note: This covers monthly active users. Sources: EuroGamer, PC Mag, Polygon, VG247
Minecraft has sold 238 million copies since launch. This includes Pocket Edition and other spin-offs.
Minecraft cumulative sales 2011 to 2021 (mm)
Note: This is total cumulative sales. Sources: EuroGamer, Forbes, IGN, Polygon, Statista, VentureBeat
Minecraft: Pocket Edition sales
Minecraft: Pocket Edition has sold over 130 million copies since launch.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition cumulative sales 2012 to 2021 (mm)
Note: This is total cumulative sales. Sources: EuroGamer, Mojang, US Gamer, VentureBeat
Minecraft Chinese edition downloads
Minecraft launched its Chinese edition with NetEase, and it has been downloaded 425 million times as of July 2021.
Minecraft Chinese edition cumulative downloads 2017 to 2021 (mm)
Sources: Games Indsutry, KitGuru, PocketGamer
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)
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