As we all know, Minecraft was a pretty big deal when it first got it’s official release. When version 1.0 came out, it was go time and it was already viral at that point. Filling up shop spaces, making merchandise and Mojang getting some incredible office space in the process, the voxel-based builder game was an internet phenom. It knew no bounds in terms of sales and then at the end of 2014, something happened we did not expect. Mojang was bought by Microsoft – and many people, myself included, were sceptical about the choice. We thought that was the end of Minecraft… And how very wrong we were.
Ask any kid out there who’s ever picked up a console controller, or who has ever deemed him or herself interested in programming – The weird part is that they’ll often say that Minecraft helped them get there. Along with the Raspberry Pi, the innovation for the a generation of programmers to get into the profession is simply staggering. With MinecraftEdu having coming a long way since inception, we’re certain that the future will remain bright for the blocky-building game, which is often called compared to Lego. We’ve all heard the success stories, but a little while back, Microsoft were pretty sweet about Minecraft. Mojang released an image on their blog, showing some percentages of what has sold where – and I was actually quite surprised by them.
Considering Minecraft started life as a simple forum post, it’s hard to fathom the impact that both consoles and mobiles have had on the sales of the game. Of course, it’s hard to say exactly what sort of numbers we’re talking about here, but to sell a game over 100,000,000 times is simply shocking, considering Grand Theft Auto V got just over 60,000,000 sales. A game that has no goal, no real plot or anything of the sorts, has completely enthralled a world of budding creative people, who just needed an outlet. Minecraft happened to be the outlet and now, in 2016, we’re able to say that Mojang have done an incredible job… And there’s more in the pipeline too.
Max Brooks is an author who has written some pretty great stuff, including World War Z. In fact, Max Brooks is very well known for his amazing take on zombies and all of the horrors they can unleash. It’s interesting then that he’s taken an interest in writing a novel based on the Minecraft world. It’s no surprise, there’s some very scary zombies in Minecraft (well, scary is an overstatement.) This is just one of the many projects going on with Mojang at the moment – And I’ll certainly pick it up and give it a read once it’s finished. I look forward to reviewing the novel as well. Will it be a scary story of Creepers approaching your house to try and blow it up, or will it be a more relaxed story? Only time will tell.
The Pocket Edition of Minecraft was once the forgotten about version of the title, yet a lot of people have downloaded it at least once. I know I tried it when it first came out, but for me, it wasn’t anywhere near as exciting at the full version on the PC. Sure, it’s there to expand the game to a plethora of different devices, but it’s also trying hard to be a competitor. As such, in the next update, there’s going to be the addition of “Add-Ons“, which will look to customise the game experience even further.
Yes, I mentioned this earlier in the article, but it’s worth noting how much progress has been made in the past year for MinecraftEdu. There’s a lot of good about this concept and I hope it really takes off big time, as some of the proposed lessons that can be taught through the game are simply brilliant. From farming, to deforestation, there’s a lot of compelling content that Minecraft can bring a future generation – and at a relatively low cost. Bring out the VR classrooms already, I say – Which neatly brings me along to my last major point…
It’s considered to be a match made in heaven, MinecraftVR is actually a really interesting and immersive way to get involved in the world of Minecraft. Whether you just want to cut down trees in a virtual environment, or if you’re looking for a bit of thrilling gameplay, MinecraftVR provides this. It runs smoothly on the Oculus Rift, providing some rather interesting mechanics along the way.
Mojang are up to a lot right now, including their annual MineCon – But they’ve still not forgotten their core audience. They care enough to keep updating Minecraft with interesting and diverse new patches. The latest patch will be version 1.11 and it’ll contain Llamas, for crying out loud! But in all seriousness, I’m glad Mojang are still at it and I’m glad that the purchase seems to have been the right decision. But now I will pass it over to you – What do you think of all the new bits of innovation in the world of Minecraft? Do you think it is a good platform for the young and the aspiring to learn from? Do you think MinecraftVR is a good idea, or just a weird experiment? What about the new novel that’s on the way? As always, let us know your thoughts below, or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. In closing, I’d just like to say – If anyone from Mojang ever somehow reads this humble piece, thank you for producing such a great game.