In a world where we can indulge in immersive, almost futuristic gaming experiences with Virtual reality equipment such as Oculus, how is it that Minecraft – a game with a default pixelation of 16×16 – retains its glory as the most popular game in the world?
In this article, we delve into the simplistic genius behind the game, and what exactly makes it so popular.
If you are not familiar with Minecraft, it is a video game in which players take control of an avatar and enter into different worlds that they create. These worlds are auto-generated with mountains, oceans, and just about every natural resource you could think of (or the video-game equivalent, at least). Over the years, more and more has been added to the game, to the point where villages and other cool ‘man-made’ structures are generated also.
Players can farm, hunt mobs/animals, build houses, go mining, slay a dragon, and do plenty of other cool things. While slaying the Ender Dragon is considered one of the main objectives, you cannot ‘complete’ the game per se – it is open-world and unending. It is renowned for its highly pixelated, non-realistic animation which is nothing short of simplistic genius.
An Inclusive Audience
It seems that its audience cannot outgrow Minecraft. Whether you’re seven or seventy-seven, you can jump on a game of Minecraft and lose hours of your day simply having fun on the game. Minecraft was fully released in 2011 and is marking its 12th year in the gaming industry.
What you find from talking to long-term fans of the game is that players who purchased the game all those years ago still play today. A recent study by ExpressVPN revealed that those in their mid-20s to 40s played video games more frequently and for longer periods of time than teenagers, who might not have even been old enough to buy the game when Minecraft was first released.
Enjoyment Without the Money Grab
Minecraft is beautifully simple, and yet ingeniously clever. While other games compete for the best, most realistic graphics, Minecraft has stayed true to its origins. What started as a sandbox-type creative outlet for gamers has stayed just that. Of course, there are in-game purchases to be profited from, but players today could have played Minecraft every day for the past 12 years with just a single, initial payment. Comparing this approach to that of FIFA, for example, highlights how user-friendly developers Mojang have been in terms of cost-efficiency. A game that provides endless hours of creativity, fun to be had for players of all ages, and only a one-time (relatively small) payment required? It sounds like Mojang really did figure out the perfect formula for video game dominance.
While fans might be waiting forever for ‘Minecraft 2’ – it is no issue. They say that if it’s not broken then it doesn’t need fixing, and the same can be said for Minecraft. Keep doing what you’re doing, Mojang.