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It's fair to say that Minecraft is quite possibly one of the most important and influential games of all time. Like it or not, since its initial developmental release in 2009, the block-builder/survival sim has gone on to captivate players around the world, spawning countless clones and imitators in the process.
What's even more impressive is that the Mojang-developed title is somehow even more popular today, ten years on, than it's ever been. PCGamesN reports that Minecraft currently sits at around 480 million players, if we include both traditional paid sales and the registered accounts for China's free-to-play version of the game. That... well, that's a lot of players.
You won't be surprised to learn that the real meat of that number comes from the Chinese release of the game. The free-to-play incarnation of the blocky adventure launched in 2017, and has already roped in an incredible 300 million players, according to analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the paid version of the game has sold a comparatively meager 180 million copies worldwide. Must try harder, Microsoft. However, if you were to combine the paid and free versions of the game, you'd be left with the above playercount. With 480 million players, Minecraft would effectively be the third-largest country in the world, behind China and India.
It is worth noting that registered players isn't quite the same as active players, of course. The number doesn't really account for duplicate registrations or players who abandoned the game years ago. Although we all feel the urge to return to Minecraft at some point. It's inevitable.
With that said, Minecraft still boasts an incredible 112 million active monthly players, according to an interview between Mojang studio head Helen Chiang and Business Insider from back in September. That's still very much a ridiculously impressive number for a ten-year-old game.
"What we find is that it's a game that players keep coming back to," Chiang explained. "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."
You probably didn't need me to tell you that Minecraft continues to be one of the biggest games in the world, but it's always nice/terrifying to put its success into perspective. We recently ranked the game third in our list of the 25 best games of the decade, in fact - precisely because it's such an enduring, important, fun piece of work.
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