Everyone’s favorite blocky game from 2009 is suddenly making a resurgence, but not many returning players understand why.
When I first created a Minecraft account of my own, I was in my awkward middle school stage. Ten years later, I am a young adult in college booting up the same video game on my laptop. For anyone who is not aware, Minecraft is making a significant comeback, as verified by trends and statistics.
According to Google Trends, online searches for Minecraft peaked in 2012 and 2013. They have been on a steady decline since then — until 2019. This month, Google searches for the game boosted to 76 percent of their all-time high. It surpassed even Fortnite, arguably the most popular game in the world in the past year.
But what happened to resurrect an old favorite?
Well, it might have never died at all. While there is an influx of returning players, Minecraft has always had a steady player base. Mojang, Minecraft’s creator, cited a monthly player base of 91 million in 2018. The game’s claim to fame is validated by its whopping 176 million copies sold as of May, sturdily placing it in the slot for the second-highest selling game ever. The first? Tetris.
The number of players never truly diminished, allowing Minecraft’s dominance to sail under the radar. But various factors are revitalizing attention.
The family-friendly survival sandbox is a safe bet for content creators on video platforms. Minecraft was the king of YouTube in its heyday, so it is no surprise that it is reclaiming its crown. Advertisers are more keen to sponsor videos of a pix- elated character building a dirt hut than they are to endorse a gory M-rated shooter. Increased chances of monetization on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube means higher video output, which means more viewers and more players. Especially at a time when politicians blame violence on video games — an argument proven to have no justification — advertisers are cautious.
Another explanation is, of course, nostalgia. Like me, there are millions of people who played in middle school who are now in college. We can temporarily forget our responsibilities and the pressures of adulthood by visiting our favorite childhood game. I was curious as to whether the game lived up to the expectations of my sentimental memories, so I redownloaded it and hopped onto a server.
Even in my twenties, a game I played as a kid is still fun. Continual updates throughout the years sparked new interest. What became stale years ago is suddenly fresh again. Whether the hype lasts or starts to fade, I plan to indulge in the nostalgia Minecraft provides.