Minecraft crosses 1 trillion views on YouTube, the most popular game of all time on the platform

Microsoft’s Minecraft is one of the greatest games on the planet.


Minecraft is already one of the best-selling games ever made, along with Tetris, Mario, and Grand Theft Auto. Now it has reached another milestone, having over 1 trillion views on YouTube.

The world-building game first appeared on Google’s video-sharing service in 2009 and has become one of the platform’s largest communities. There are more than 35,000 active creator channels making Minecraft videos, YouTube said, in 150 countries. This is in addition to the 140 million people who play Minecraft on PC, mobile devices and video game consoles.

At a time when tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are worth over $1 trillion, that seems like just another number. But for Mojang Studios, the Stockholm-based development team that created Minecraft, it’s a reminder that the game hasn’t stopped growing, even when many of us turn our attention to other things.

“It just kept going up,” said Lydia Winterschief storyteller at Mojang Studios, who began her career making Minecraft videos on YouTube before being hired into a team of seven about a decade ago.

The game’s appeal has grown steadily, even since Microsoft bought Mojang in 2014 for $2.5 billion. “Minecraft is more than a great game franchise, it’s an open global platform, powered by a vibrant community that we care about, and full of new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft,” he said. then Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft and YouTube said the game has grown steadily since then.

Whether or not you watch Minecraft all the time, plenty of other people do.

YouTube and Mojang

Part of Minecraft’s appeal is how its Lego-like block art style gives players tools to create their own worlds and tell their own stories. The most popular games are known for their ultra-realistic war simulation battles or gripping storylines. Super Mario Bros. from Nintendo, one of the most popular video game franchises of all time, is known for its quirky characters and intricate puzzles.

The Minecraft community, by comparison, creates all kinds of worlds and videos. A popular precedent, from creator CaptainSparklez, garnered 145 million views with a Minecraft-inspired riff to Coldplay’s popular song Viva La Vida, called Fallen Kingdom. Another depicts the Dream creator speeding through the game’s “end” in under 23 minutes, garnering 29.6 million views. Creators often make money from their videos, either through sponsorships or by including ads and sharing a percentage of that revenue with YouTube.

“From the beginning, we let them play the game however they want,” Winters said. “There is no right or wrong way to play.”

Growing game

Minecraft’s success on YouTube has been key to its growth. serious petty remembers that one of his first discoveries about Minecraft was when he was curating viral videos and came across some popular Minecraft clips. One of the most popular videos circulating on the internet at the time was when someone recreated Star Trek’s Enterprise-D ship in Minecraft, racking up over 2 million views after uploading the clip in 2010.

“I don’t think you ever appreciated how huge the Enterprise is,” videographer Halkun said during his 3:09 tour of the ship. The video has racked up over 12.8 million views in the 11 years since.

“The game itself is actually a canvas,” said Pettie, who now leads YouTube Culture and Trends Insights efforts. He noted that the pandemic had given the game a new boost, as many people were stuck at home in search of entertainment. So they turned to social games they could play with friends nearby or on the web, like Minecraft, a Similar Design Competitor Robloxand the hit the fortnite online battle game. “Social connection is a universal human need that people have,” Pettie said.

Not all of Mojang’s efforts have been as successful as its flagship game. Minecraft Dungeons, a Minecraft-style action-adventure game, received mixed reviews when it was released last year, according to a survey by Metacritic. CNET’s cousin GameSpot gave the game a “good” review, noting that the biggest disappointment was that Minecraft Dungeons focused on battling monsters, instead of offering a new twist on the game-building formula. world of its namesake. “Rather than changing our expectations of what games can be, it’s banking on its own popularity,” GameSpot’s Steve Watts wrote.

Minecraft Earth attempted to bring the Minecraft formula into augmented reality, which superimposes computer images onto the real world. Hold your phone’s camera and Minecraft elements are added to the screen. The game launched in 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread. With many people around the world encouraged to stay indoors, Mojang shut down the game earlier this year.

The original Minecraft game, meanwhile, continued to gain traction, both among existing fans and people who weren’t even born when the game initially launched.

Neighborhood Lewis, an IDC analyst covering the gaming industry, said he saw this firsthand with his 6-year-old daughter, who plays Minecraft and Roblox. He said the child-friendly nature of the games makes him comfortable with her playing them for long periods of time. “Even before the pandemic, my child was playing with friends, one on a computer and one with a tablet,” he said.

He noted that Minecraft continues to be one of the most played and best-selling games each year in the industry, and he expects that to continue as more companies look to expand. digital “metaverse“worlds in which people can socialize.

“With Minecraft,” he said, “you know what you’re going to get.”