Minecraft, which celebrated its 10th birthday earlier this year, remains a dominant force in the video game industry with more than 112 million players per month.
The figure represents an increase of more than 20 million players since Microsoft’s last update in October 2018, which is an impressive feat considering the game’s age and its roots as a work-in-progress project by a single man, Markus “Notch” Persson.
Making the total number of monthly players even more significant is that Minecraft is not a free-to-play game, unlike today’s standard-bearers such as Fortnite and Apex Legends. The players who were added over the span of less than a year bought the game in one of the many consoles, computers, and mobile devices where it is available, whether as a physical purchase or as a digital download.
Microsoft acquired Minecraft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, a surprising move at the time, but one that now looks like a steal five years after. On its 10th birthday, Microsoft said that Minecraft has sold more than 176 million copies, which may make it the best-selling video game of all time.
“What we find is that it’s a game that players keep coming back to,” Minecraft studio head Helen Chiang told Business Insider in an interview. “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,” she added.
The evergreen nature of Minecraft, which players can just pick up and play no matter the time that has passed since the last session, has largely contributed to the game’s popularity, in addition to its wide availability. Its blocky graphics and simple mechanics make its accessible for players on budget devices, while the game’s capabilities are only limited by the player’s imagination.
Minecraft is not going away any time soon, and may even have another player boost on the horizon with Minecraft Earth, which will bring the building blocks to real life. The augmented reality game’s Android beta recently launched to join the iOS beta, in preparation for a wider public release that is expected within the year.