The big picture: Part of Microsoft’s success with Minecraft is the fact that Minecraft is going after gamers on multiple fronts including consoles, PC and mobile. There’s even a heavy focus in the education sector. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and unicorns. Last month, for example, Mojang canceled its long-promised Minecraft graphical overhaul because it was too technically demanding.
Microsoft’s decision to purchase Minecraft for $2.5 billion five years ago stunned the tech and gaming communities alike. Many saw the acquisition as little more than a puzzling decision from newly minted CEO Satya Nadella but it quickly became apparent that the Redmond-based company was on to something.
While titles like Fortnite and other battle royale entries have dominated gaming headlines in recent years, Minecraft’s slow and steady approach is certainly winning the race. The game passed Tetris as the best-selling game ever earlier this year and according to studio head Helen Chiang, Minecraft now has over 112 million active players each month.
As Business Insider highlights, that’s a jump of more than 20 million users since Microsoft last supplied player numbers in October 2018. That level of growth is incredibly impressive, especially for a game that’s been available for more than 10 years now.
At the end of the day, people keep coming back to Minecraft and that’s great news for Microsoft. “It may not always be the one that’s in the forefront, because there are a lot of great games that continue to come out, but it’s one that they love to return to,” said Chiang.