You wouldn't know, turning into this nondescript street in Stockholm and padding up the stone steps to Minecraft HQ, that anything special was being made up here. The truth only becomes clear when you step through the door and discover the endless shelves filled with awards (including a Bafta) and the vast boxes of Minecraft merchandise piled in every corner. This is where they make what many regard as a digital version of Lego: a game that's been downloaded more than 100m times on PCs, consoles and smartphones since its launch in 2009. If you have children aged between six and 16, the chances are they're hooked on this strange, blocky pursuit. And the chances are you've asked yourself: why? To truly understand the appeal of Minecraft, you need to understand the studio behind it.
One of the world's most popular video games is getting a major update on one of the hottest game consoles on the market. More than a year after its release, the Nintendo Switch version of "Minecraft" will soon allow players to build blocky worlds with their friends across the Xbox, PC, mobile and VR platforms. Developer Mojang announced Thursday that the Switch version of "Minecraft" will get the Bedrock update on June 21. It will fold in the Better Together update that added cross-platform play to other consoles last year, as well as exclusive "Super Mario"-themed content that originally appeared in the Wii U version of "Minecraft." Minecraft Bedrock edition hits Nintendo Switch on June 21st!
The new game from Mojang answers the eternal question, what if Minecraft and Gauntlet had a baby? Minecraft: Dungeons is a brand-new game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers like Wizardry and Ultima Underworld, and it turns the series' traditional formula on its head. Instead of providing a vast, open canvas where players can let their imaginations run wild, Dungeons is an adventure game filled with discrete quests, characters, items and enemies. It still looks like classic Minecraft fare, complete with cube-headed characters and 3D swords with jagged, pixelated blades. While players are free to explore this new blocky universe, Dungeons is decidedly not an open-world game.
Microsoft and Mojang have announced a new Minecraft game, 'Minecraft Earth,' for mobile devices, which uses augmented reality to place objects from the game in your real world. Minecraft is expanding its reach – into your real world. A new game, "Minecraft Earth," coming this summer for mobile devices (Android and iOS), uses augmented reality – à la "Pokémon Go" – to let you find objects in real-world locations and place objects from the game there, too. "The game's mechanics are simple: explore your neighborhood to find blocks and unique mobs for your builds. Once you have them, any flat surface is an opportunity to build," said Minecraft creative director Saxs Persson in a post on Xbox.com.
If you still think Minecraft is a PC game--well, you're flat wrong. According to new numbers released by Mojang and Microsoft, the original version for the PC is the least popular platform, in almost every region worldwide. Microsoft said Thursday that Minecraft has sold more than 106,859,714 copies to date across all platforms--which would represent the twelfth most populous nation in the world, right behind Japan. Four copies have even been sold into Antarctica. But if you dig into Microsoft's numbers, they reveal that far, far more users are buying Minecraft on platforms other than the PC.