Obviously, Minecraft is a popular game. It’s been around for over 10 years, and is considered extremely successful by many people. But there was a point where the game’s traction began to decline. Around the same time Microsoft bought the game for $2.5 billion, the game began to lose its popularity amongst players. This was due to a few reasons, but around 2019 the game seemed to have a Renaissance with old players flooding back and new ones playing the game for the very first time as the next generation of gamers began to experience what those before them had.
It’s no secret that Minecraft was popular to begin with. It was a new and unique game from the moment it came out, differing from the traditional shooter games of that time. The game was a huge success, giving players a freedom to explore the world and do what they wanted. As well, the vast range of Minecraft YouTubers helped add to the game’s fame. People just sat in front of their computers or gaming consoles, and recorded themselves playing the game, and, for some reason, their fans loved it. Thanks to Minecraft, these people got to make a job out of playing video games, but in return, they drastically boosted the game, causing new players to join and bringing the community closer together.
In 2014, Microsoft bought Minecraft. Overall, this has caused the game to grow, but at the time, there was a decline. The kids who started playing the game when it first came out considered themselves to be “too grown up” to keep playing Minecraft. People looked at it as a kids game that they were too mature to be bothered playing. In 2017, 6 years after Minecraft’s full release, Fortnite came out. Fortnite is a third person shooter game where you and three friends try to eliminate the other teams as the map slowly gets smaller. The game seemed to attract people of all ages, and for a while, was the only game people were talking about.
This change in popularity caused YouTubers to follow the crowd. Obviously, they want to make videos that will do well on their channels, and if their viewers are interested in Fortnite, they’ll make Fortnite videos. This managed to bring new fans to their channels, but in turn caused them to produce less Minecraft videos. With the game being talked about less, more people didn’t have a reason to play it. And if less people were playing the game, that would cause it to have less publicity, therefore meaning less new players would discover the game, thus meaning the game will have less overall players.
But in 2019, Minecraft began its Renaissance. New and upcoming YouTubers like Dream began getting popular with unique video ideas on the game, such as his “Speedrunner vs Hunter” series or Minecraft Death Swap. Furthermore, some of the top YouTubers like Pewdiepie or Jacksepticeye - who are famous for their gaming videos - started a Minecraft series. Not only did these Influencers reintroduce old players back into the game, but they also brought a whole new fanbase. People who had never played the game before watched their favourite Content Creators enjoy the game, and decided to give it a shot themselves.
When Covid began in 2020, and people were stuck inside all day, Minecraft was not only an escape from reality, but also a reflection back to fond memories of an easier time. What’s more, it gave people a way to spend time with their friends. With thousands of servers open, it’s easy to hop on and just have a good time with your friends.
Despite its dip in popularity, Minecraft still continues to be successful, and is proof that games can remain relevant for years. The game has a special place in the hearts of many children and adults, with fond memories of punching your first tree, dying in the Nether, or beating the Dragon for the first time. Even if the game does decline again, there will always be a time where people want to return.