Minecraft is a sandbox video game created by Swedish developer Markus Persson, released by Mojang in 2011 and purchased by Microsoft in 2014. It is the single best-selling video game of all time, selling over 180 million copies across all platforms by late 2019, with over 112 million monthly active players.
In Minecraft, players explore an intentionally blocky, pixelated, procedurally-generated 3D world, and may discover and extract raw materials, craft tools, build structures or earthworks, and, depending on game mode, can fight computer-controlled foes, as well as either cooperate with or compete against other players in the same world. These modes include a survival mode, in which players must acquire resources to build the world and maintain health, and a creative mode, where players have unlimited resources. In the Java Edition, players can modify the game with mods to create new gameplay mechanics, items, textures and assets.
Minecraft has been critically acclaimed, winning numerous awards, and has been described as one of the most influential and greatest video games of all time. Social media, parodies, adaptations, merchandise, and the annual MineCon conventions played large roles in popularizing the game. It has also been used in educational environments, especially in the realm of computing systems, as virtual computers and hardware devices have been built in it. A number of spin-off games have also been developed, such as Minecraft: Story Mode, Minecraft Earth, and Minecraft Dungeons.
Before Minecraft was the cultural force it is today, it was a survival game. Minecraft drops players on a procedurally generated map eight times larger than the surface of the Earth. They’ll have to forage for, hunt down, or grow enough food to survive, all while dodging the ever-present threat of explosive Creepers and deadly zombies, on the way to an endgame battle against a powerful extradimensional dragon. Of course, it’s Minecraft’s no-stakes Creative mode that has garnered the game tens of millions of views on Twitch and YouTube, two entire industries seemingly purpose-built for the new breed of gaming personalities that it helped to reveal to the world.