Minecraft History

It’s been just over 10 years since Minecraft celebrated its emergence as a game. One of the few games that boasts many characteristics that few video games hold:

  • an enduring popularity
  • an unbeatable game concept
  • a close bond between the players and the developers 
  • a cross-generational player base

We will introduce you to Minecraft’s history in more detail.

Phase 1: From Persson to Mojang: The BeginningsFrom Persson’s Youth and Cave Game 2009, Modders and a Revolutionary Game Type
Phase 2: From release to MicrosoftPersson’s main job, 2010 as a hot development phase, release 2011, rise of the game, renewals and Persson’s end
Phase 3: Microsoft and the further spreadMicrosoft’s acquisition, new platforms like Playstation, Xbox etc. and the continuing popularity, Minecraft Education

From Persson to Mojang: The Beginnings

Minecraft’s birthplace is in Stockholm, Sweden. This is where Markus Persson (with his alias “Notch”) lived in the early 00s and created the virtual world of Minecraft almost single-handedly. The young Persson already had a knack for programming and game development in his early childhood. During his time at King.com, he invented the so-called “Cave Game” in 2009. 

Cave Game is a mix of his fondness for Lego as a child and the creative free-form gameplay that resulted. The game is quickly renamed Minecraft and Persson takes a decisive step: he opens the raw version of the game (for a small fee) to users, for testing and feedback to the developers. A very unusual step at the time, but in retrospect a very decisive one. The influence of the user to bring the ideas, improvements and wishes to the development team, which thus became part of the product Minecraft, improve the game immensely. Nevertheless, the fear was that the game would never get out of its raw phase, as new things were constantly being added. 

The ever-growing Minecraft project led Persson and his developers to found Mojang Studios, which is home to the Minecraft project. 

The Minecraft gameplay

When Minecraft first emerged back in the day, Persson presented a unique type of game. Not that construction games (with or without blocks) had never existed before, but the combination of constructing buildings and simultaneously mining the resources needed for them was new. Until then, there were either only building games, or only resource mining games.

The creativity and the possibilities of the combination in Minecraft were almost infinite and accordingly excited many players.

In addition, the close bond between developers and modders (or later the general users/players) brought a very mature and accepted game. Due to the close ties with modders, Minecraft was also supplemented by numerous mods early on, which not only expanded the portfolio, but also gave interested players access to more great gameplay approaches and ideas.

From the release to Microsoft

After Persson quit his job in 2010 to work on Minecraft full-time, the game made huge strides in general improvement, bug fixes and updates. The so-called beta development phase was now reached in 2010 with Minecraft and the game was finally ready to be released.

In 2011 Minecraft was officially released and immediately had resounding success with millions of copies of the game sold worldwide. New servers were set up and the entire game process was improved and worlds were added. Minecraft worlds became so large that they were sometimes described as “endless”.

The Nether and End creations were added. While the Nether has a very hell-like character as an underworld, the End is more of a sky-like overworld. The End “boss” (pun intended) with the Ender Dragon is considered the official end of the game, but only in theory. The credits are played, but you can continue playing normally afterwards. Minecraft has no end, because there are no limits to creation and imagination, and there are no time limits either. Since there are also no missions or a campaign, or main story, you can play Minecraft until your eyes go square!

The Rise

Despite Persson’s initial skepticism about Minecraft’s success, the game took off. The discovery of almost infinite landscapes, monsters and the freedom to create anything you ever wanted to build gave impetus to this. The multiplayer option was also a driving factor, as Minecraft was one of the few games that allowed for collaborative building and experience, outside of shooter games and the like. In addition, larger buildings or even villages and cities are better built together than alone!

Minecraft didn’t need much marketing at all. Besides Persson’s blogs and news updates, a community of its own developed around the game, which helped itself through mutual support and made the game more popular.

While weather, creative mode and settings like hunger were added to the game at the end of 2010, Minecraft finally became a breakthrough success in 2011. Minecraft then appears there for smartphones and tablets (Minecraft Pocket).

At the end of 2011, Persson handed over the creative leadership role to Jens Bergensten and retired. The following year, Minecraft was released for the Xbox for the first time.

In 2013, the streaming provider Twitch was integrated and a new launcher menu was introduced, making it easier to update the latest versions. Minecraft was also made compatible with Playstation 3 and released.

Finally, Persson sold Mojang Studios (and with it Minecraft) to the Microsoft group in 2014, which ushered in a new phase for the popular brick game.

Microsoft and the further spread of Minecraft

In September 2014, Minecraft, or rather Mojang Studios was sold to Microsoft. A move that certainly drew massive criticism from the Minecraft community, as there were fears of heavy commercialization and cannibalization of the game. Persson sold his shares in Minecraft to Microsoft and withdrew.

Microsoft didn’t flinch for long and launched Minecraft for more consoles. First for the Playstation and Xbox One in September 2014, then for the Apple TV in 2016, and following that for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS in 2017.

In 2016, an educational school version for Minecraft, Minecraft Education, is also created and released.

Further regular updates and changes, as well as a constant fan base and a loyal community, prove this path right. To this day, the hype around the brick game continues: from books to Lego® sets and stuffed animals to underwear, there are countless fan articles and merchandise. The popularity and enjoyment of the game by many millions of people remains constant and continues to position Minecraft in its role as one of the top games in the world. 

Play Minecraft now with your friends or in single player mode on a GPORTAL server – we wish you lots of fun!

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