Regardless of whether you’ve actually smashed or built any pixelated blocks before, we can 100% guarantee that you’ve at least heard of the video game that’s taking over the world – Minecraft. In fact, the game is so popular that within five years of it’s release, it has become the third best selling video game of all time with 33 million sales across multiple platforms, being beaten only by Wii Sports (82m) and Tetris (425m).
However, Minecraft isn’t just a video game taking over only the gaming community but the entirety of YouTube as well. At this years MIPTV (Marché International des Programmes de Télévision), Chad Gutstein, the CEO at Machinima, revealed a truly eye-opening statistic about the legion of YouTube channels dedicated to broadcasting Minecraft-centred content; “Minecraft comprises more than 10% of YouTube’s daily viewing”. Just think about that for a minute.
Astounding right? So, coupled with the fact that over 33 million people own the game and a shocking statistic that in between the months of June and October 2014 a study was done in which fan-created Minecraft videos on YouTube had monthly viewing figures ranging in between 31-47 BILLION – you really must be the only person not playing it.
The folks over at Tubular Labs and ReelSEO have helpfully pulled together a crazy amount of must-read facts for Minecraft fans and non-believers to look at; the most staggering of which being that content tagged with ‘Minecraft‘ was seeing 3x the amount of monthly viewers than other, more mainstream titles such as Grand Theft Auto (11.8b) and Call of Duty (9.7b).
In fact, when fan-created Minecraft content is compared against the official Mojang YouTube channel, the total viewership in the month of June 2014 for ‘Minecraft‘ videos came 99.4% from fan-created videos such as StampyCat and CaptainSparklez. That’s a RIDICULOUS amount of free marketing from a company that has reportedly spent $0 from their advertising budget.
As well as being the second most searched thing on YouTube (above), losing out to the entire concept of music, Minecraft is making a significant impact on the wider world too – not just the traditional gaming communities. Here’s an extract from Alphr in which they try to explain to uninformed readers the astounding global phenomena that is Minecraft fans;
“Not only nine-year-old girls, but grown adults who attend international Minecraft conventions, and the parents of autistic children, who set up their own Minecraft server just so their kids are able to have somewhere safe to express their creativity, with genuinely staggering results.”
Okay, so if you’re STILL not convinced that Minecraft is 100% the place to be, then check out these Google search results from earlier in the year. Undertale and Homestruck are currently games and animations trending on YouTube and drawing in millions of search traction, but these all lose out to generic terms such as weed and boobs. But oh wait… what is exponentially more popular than boobs on the Internet? Yup, that purple squiggle that looks about ready to burst through the image and take over this article is the “interest over time” timeline for little old Minecraft; a game made by a Swedish man in his spare time nearly five years ago.
So, with Minecraft YouTubers such as CaptainSparklez buying a $4.5 million mansion in the Hollywood Hills, Minecraft glossaries being made for parents to stay on top of the lingo necessary to communicate with their kids AND child-friendly Minecraft apps being made purely to curate that niche genre of content – what is the future of the game that people can’t get enough of?
Based off the fact that only yesterday (14th April 2016), nearly 7000 people bought Minecraft brand new, the game is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Further evidence to this is the fact that “Minecraft supports its own international convention every year” with the “first batch of 2,500 tickets selling out in three seconds” reports Alphr back in 2015.
As the game generates a wider and more engaged community, the source of it’s popularity is seeing a substantial boost in benefits as children growing up with Minecraft in their homes and schools start to plan their own YouTube careers. For example, notable Guardian journalist and father Stuart Dredge recently shared his experiences of helping his kids actually get ONTO the Internet, instead of keeping them away.
After being inspired by the likes of TheBajanCanadian (above), Stuart’s eight-year-old son came to his father for help with recording, editing and uploading his very first YouTube video; “I want to make Minecraft videos and I want you to put them on YouTube. I’ve been practising talking while I play, and I’m nearly as good as Stampy now”. And so after researching the relevant equipment, that’s exactly what they did.
The end result was a massive confidence boost for the two aspiring YouTubers and father who saw the positive, creative and imaginative benefits towards a game that is seemingly taking over their children’s lives. In addition to the fact that Minecraft is now widely accessible in schools and holds a proud place on the National Curriculum, the game will surely engulf the planet and turn us all in to Steve’s biggest fans one day.
We’ll end with another note from Alphr to sum up why millions of people play the biggest indie game to have happened to the world;
“Whether it’s learning the principles of farming, or getting to grips with economics by trading resources with villagers, or programming logic gates by setting doors to open when a certain combination of buttons are pressed, there’s more to Minecraft than hacking at zombies… If there’s ever been a more worthwhile purpose to a computer game, I’ve never come across it.”