The Minecraft Resurgence

Earlier this year, Minecraft overtook Tetris in number of games sold, becoming the best selling video game in history with 176,000,000 copies sold worldwide. Everyone has heard of Minecraft, and almost every young person has either seen or played the game at one point. Minecraft’s hegemony in the gaming industry and the broader culture is undeniable and monumental. Love it or hate it, Minecraft has greatly impacted the whole world and the millions of people who bought it on a phone, tablet, console or computer to play it.

Minecraft seems to be discussed a lot lately, but the game was not always this popular. In the first few years following Minecraft’s first release in 2009, the game grew rapidly in popularity. The game made millions in revenue, had a massive and dedicated fanbase, and countless YouTubers uploaded videos of themselves playing the game and received millions of views. According to Google Trends data, the game peaked in Google searches in 2013, and its popularity steadily declined in the following five years. The game was still popular during this period, but millions of players stopped playing it, and it seemed that the game’s best days were long gone. However, in mid-2019, all of this changed. Minecraft had a sudden resurgence in popularity, and millions of people booted up their old copies or bought news ones to enjoy the game.

Many factors revived Minecraft, a game that looked like it was on the way out. The most obvious reason is that Felix Kjellberg, known on YouTube as Pewdiepie, began uploading videos of himself playing Minecraft at the same time when the game began rising in popularity again. He has over 100,000,000 subscribers on YouTube, so his vast reach has certainly brought some people into the game. Other factors for this popularity surge are the 1.14 update, which introduced a lot of new features to the game, and the fact that 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of Minecraft. I believe there is one more important reason, which is much more sentimental. Individuals in the high school to young adult age range (14 to 30 year-olds) who grew up playing Minecraft are now feeling nostalgia for the game they used to enjoy. Many have realized how good Minecraft is as a game, so they are playing it once again by the millions to relive the pleasant memories they made years ago.

I think I speak on behalf of millions of people my age when I say that I have spent hundreds of hours playing the game and that Minecraft has had a very positive impact on my life. The game provides players with a creative escape from the world, where they can do almost anything. The countless possibilities for play make the game great. Whether it is building fully-automatic redstone machines, battling with others on public multiplayer servers or surviving the night with friends, there is something in the game for everyone. The game has brought me a lot of joy over the years, and I hope that future generations will have the same awesome experience with Minecraft.

 – Elie Aoun ’21

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