LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Minecraft is the juggernaut of kid gaming, backed by Microsoft and boasting nearly 144 million lifetime sales. A new study by Interpret confirms that Minecraft is still the most-played game among kids in the US, currently being played by over a quarter of gamers age 6-12. However, the title seems to have lost some steam recently. GameByte—an annual study of kids’ gaming habits and preferences—has tracked Minecraft playership since 2012, and the results of this year’s study show the first drops in active playership ever. Minecraft’s share of all gaming time by kids age 6-12 has dropped 5% since last year, although it still commands a hefty 13% of total game time.

A new study by Interpret confirms that Minecraft is still the most-played game among kids in the US.

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These changes are small, but the dip into negative trending should worry fans of the game. One possible explanation is the recent rise of Roblox, a mod-friendly title that borrows Minecraft’s ethos of building and playing anything. Roblox still lags behind Minecraft (the study ranks it as the #2 kids game in the US by active playership), but its gains over the past 12 months are significant. Since last year’s study, Roblox’s active kid playership has more than doubled on both PC and console.

One thing that Minecraft and Roblox share is their ability to monopolize play time. Over one third of Roblox and Minecraft players report playing other games less because of these titles. This “one-game” phenomenon affects toys as well, causing a similar proportion of Roblox and Minecraft to play less with physical toys. “These players’ dedication to their game and the screen-time monopoly of these titles are having a big impact on their consumption of other games and toys,” noted Michael Cai, President of Interpret. “This means that game and toy makers not only have to contend with Minecraft, but also with Roblox, a rising star that may become its own juggernaut in time.”

GameByte is an annual, comprehensive survey of kids’ gaming behaviors and preferences in the US. For more information, please contact Diane LightWaight at [email protected] or 323.794.3891.

Interpret is a full service market research firm focused on media, entertainment, and technology.

Minecraft’s Lead is Shrinking among Kid Gamers, According to New Data from Interpret