Minecraft is precisely the type of game that is well-worthy of the title ‘Decade-defining.’ It came out in 2009 as an indie game but officially released at the end of 2011. In the years that followed, Minecraft has made its place as the most successful indie game of all time.
So, can we still consider Minecraft an indie game? An indie game is one that is created by an individual programmer or a small team of developers. Although Minecraft started as an indie game back in 2009, it has grown well out of those shoes. After being sold to Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014, Minecraft is no longer operated by an indie company. Hence it is no longer an indie game.
So how has Minecraft held its own for almost a decade? Read on below to find out how Minecraft became the best and most popular indie game to date and how it changed the way we consider indie games today.
Minecraft Gets Bought By Microsoft
Minecraft was launched in 2009 and then in 2010 in its beta form. The complete release followed up in November 2011. As of now, the game is available on most platforms, including iOS and Android devices.
When the education targeted Raspberry Pi edition of Minecraft was released in April 2013, the pocket and java editions attracted 10 million sales each!
Moving on ahead in 2013, Minecraft elapsed its exclusivity clause with Microsoft, and hence we got the PSVita, PS3, and the PS4 versions; at this point, it was evident that Minecraft was way over its indie status. Minecraft was about to be picked up by the big boys.
The head of the biggest indie gaming phenomenon in the world was feeling the online pressure and tweeted in June 2014, “Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for trying to do the right thing is not my gig.”
CEO Carl Manneh’s phone started blowing up with messages. EA and Activision Blizzard showed interest in buying Mojang, but due to their history with Microsoft and probably a bigger money check, Microsoft got the deal closed at $2.5 billion.
Minecraft Is Redefining Indie Games
As said before, Minecraft is well worth the title ‘Decade-defining.’ Minecraft didn’t just prove to us how exciting and engaging indie games can be. It told us that good games don’t need to have the top-notch graphics to make their spot. Minecraft may have started as an indie game but isn’t considered indie anymore.
What’s funny is that Minecraft is being used as a poster game for ray tracing, which is a hot trend in the gaming world. You don’t really need to have the best graphics to enjoy Minecraft, but if you do, its an experience on its own.
With the long-reigning success of Minecraft, it is proven that good games do not need sequels to flaunt their success. As time goes, Minecraft gets new updates and modifications, but the gameplay has remained the same as it was ten years ago. Yeah, you can find Minecraft titles out there with completely different genres and spin-offs. Still, these are all based on the inspiration of how easily accessible the game is – and this is one of the critical features that developers want to grab on to in the coming years.
Fans are never kept on hanging for updates by Mojang. Minecraft isn’t like other live service games that we are used to where if the latest update isn’t bigger and better, the players lose interest.
What Minecraft does is that it keeps adding a new mob here, some new block types there, or adding to the quality of life change – all the things that would make the player glad when they find out about them.
My Adventure In Minecraft
Of course, there aren’t just small updates. Bigger updates bring exciting wholesome things that you can make a new world for and then go on ahead to explore it. The first time I came across a shipwreck, I was surprised because I had no idea there was such a thing in Minecraft! I spent plenty more hours to find more and making the game laggy for my friends who were in it with me since I wandered off way ahead from our camp. But finally! I came across a sea temple, but my journey met its end by the hand of the guardians. This is a kind of adventure that we do not experience in most AAA games. Experiences like these make Minecraft a game that is enjoyed even after years.
The Growth Of Minecraft
Minecraft has gotten way bigger than the indie game it was back in 2009.
Let’s take a look at the corporate side. Minecraft has got books, a movie, spin-off titles, and a lot more, which shows the massive potential that it has.
The spin-off games include:
- Minecraft: Story Mode
- Minecraft Earth
- Minecraft Dungeons
- In December 2012, a documentary produced by 2 Player Productions about Minecraft and Mojang was released Titled Minecraft: The Story of Mojang.
- Another Minecraft film is under production by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is being written and directed by Peter Sollett and is expected to release on 4th March 2022.
Many officially licensed novels were inspired by Minecraft
- Minecraft: The Island
- Minecraft: The Crash
- Minecraft: The Lost Journals
- Minecraft: The End
But what is even bigger than that is the community. Minecraft is all about the enormous player base that it houses. From Minecraft, many streamers and YouTubers have made their careers. It is being used in schools to help kids learn in an exciting way. It has even brought parents and kids closer. The massive community is what makes Minecraft an undying game.
The Reddit Community
The Minecraft Reddit community is one of the most passionate, creative, and outstanding communities that you can interact with. Just go ahead and take a look for yourself. You’ll see how amazing these fans are. There are hilarious mods to unique builds. A game is just as good as the community it creates, and Minecraft cannot be a better example.
Almost every post you will find on the community will get positivity and praise – it can be a seasoned pro building a replica of a historic building or a kid showing off their first build, the support they get is genuinely heartwarming and wholesome.
The player community of Minecraft isn’t the largest in the world; neither has it made the most money. What makes Minecraft as good as it is, is its unrivaled accessibility. This has kept the game alive and popular among millions for years, and it is no doubt that it will stay as popular just as it is now for the years to come.
The Future Of Minecraft
Started as an indie game, Minecraft now stands at 176 million paid accounts and has a whopping 112 million simultaneous players as of September 2019. Minecraft is still very popular and growing and is probably on its way to outselling Tetris as the top-selling video game of all time. As of now, we aren’t seeing any signs of Minecraft going anywhere.
The mod scene integrated with the Twitch launcher is going as good as ever. Minecraft has gone up in trending on YouTube again, and 2019 has been a big year for Minecraft YouTubers. We saw many YouTubers going from or adding Minecraft to their Fortnite exclusive YouTube channels.
The merchandise sales haven’t dipped either. Lego has made Minecraft a staple of its commercial productions, and there are plenty of products to browse from. What we know is that the world of ideas is infinite out there. One man’s experiment, one man’s idea that started out as an indie project, has grown so much that it has delighted an entire generation and changed our perception of indie games or games in general.
Yeah, sure, there are plenty of amazing AAA titles out there with mindboggling graphics that are amazing. They have great storylines and gameplays, and they make millions of dollars. Minecraft isn’t a masterpiece when it comes to graphics, and it is by no means a game with a AAA storyline. But it is a game that remains just as relevant today as it was nine years ago – how many AAA titles or other popular games can say that?
Getting back to our original question,” Is Minecraft Still Considered an Indie Game?” An indie game, as told earlier, is something an individual or an individual group is responsible for. So no, Minecraft is no longer an indie game because of how massive it has become. It isn’t the job or the capability of an individual group to manage Minecraft anymore. But whether it remains an indie game or not, we can all firmly agree that Minecraft stands high at the top of all indie games ever created.