Minecraft is like Super Mario Bros. for today’s kids. You see them playing on phones in restaurants, tablets at the mall, and computers at the library — and Toys “R” Us is selling blocky foam swords for $20 each.
The PC version of the Lego-like building-adventure title recently crossed 100 million registered accounts, according to developer Mojang. That represents the number of people who have logged into and created an account on Minecraft.net to check out Minecraft. Visitors must register before purchasing the $30 download or before playing the free demo. Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson also confirmed that more than 14.3 percent of those accounts have converted to paying customers. That means more than 14.3 million people have bought the Minecraft on PC since it debuted in 2009, which makes it one of the best-selling video games of the last several years. The game makes Mojang millions of dollars each year. In 2012, Notch alone made $100 million thanks to the title.
Minecraft is a simplistic-looking game where players must survive in a world by scavenging for resources and crafting tools, weapons, and shelter. It is especially popular with children, who often play online with each other to build massive structures like castles. In addition to the 14 million copies sold of the original PC version, Mojang has sold another 21 million copies on Xbox 360, iOS, Android, and PlayStation 3.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition, as Mojang calls the mobile versions, regularly tops the most-downloaded chart for premium games on both iOS and Android. It’s one of the few apps in the top 25 highest-grossing games not to include some form of in-app purchases.
On Xbox 360, Microsoft worked with Mojang to get the block builder on its system. This led to a 2012 digital release on the Xbox Live Arcade store. The game sold so well on Xbox 360 that Mojang and Microsoft actually released a version of Minecraft on disc that ended up as the ninth best-selling physical release of last year. It even outsold major critically acclaimed releases like BioShock: Infinite, The Last of Us, and Super Mario 3D World.
Mojang is continually working on improving Minecraft for PC and its other platforms. The developer is also overseeing development of the title for the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles as well as Sony’s Vita portable console. Those versions should all debut later this year and will likely attract several million more Minecraft fans.