Few video games have an impact that stretches beyond their launch date. Minecraft, on the other hand, is not your average game.
The adventure, design, and survival game boasts unique graphics, endless possibilities, and enough fantastic features to keep both casual fans and hardcore gamers happy. Released more than a decade ago, Minecraft is currently more popular than it’s ever been.
‘Minecraft’ anchors in a new era
According to a 2019 article by The Science Academy Stem Magnet, Minecraft was created by Markus Persson, a designer who fans may better know as Notch. An online game that encouraged collaboration over competition featured a randomly generated world filled with enough resources, creatures, and curveballs to keep the masses entertained.
With its now-iconic blocky graphics that harken back to older days. Minecraft isn’t your average open-world game. Most games have an underlying story, a singular goal, or a predestined endgame. This was not the case with Persson’s game. Yes, Minecraft had a set of rules and goals, but there wasn’t a real endgame. Players could play in every world as long or short as they want.
Furthermore, the mix of customizable features catered to those just wanting to build and those wishing to fight the game’s zombies alike. Resources help gamers craft weapons, new building materials, and other necessities and luxuries. The base game was quite simple, but twelve years after its first release, it remains vital to this day.
‘Minecraft’ and the power of longevity
To understand the lasting appeal of Minecraft, one has to look at development. In 2009, many game companies still operated on the old model. Yes, internet upgrades and patches often added small features to games, but the release version was typically close to the final product as the developers could muster. Minecraft was different.
Persson’s team grew into one of the most successful in the industry, not the first nor last independent game to operate less like a standard game and more as a full computer that happened to be based inside a game. Enchantments were added, as were new enemies, resources, textures, and themes. Unlike most games, which target either children or adults, Minecraft had a little something for everyone.
Want to build a living, breathing village? Minecraft allowed it. Want to build something without being bothered? Minecraft allows it. When Microsoft acquired the property from Persson in 2014, he suddenly became a billionaire, and the biggest new franchise on earth suddenly had one of the biggest names in tech and gaming.
Now, as Spokesman notes, the game is more popular than ever. From Toy Story levels to a slew of spin-offs with more standard gaming options, Minecraft is an industry unto itself, and it helped usher in a brand new era.
The ‘Minecraft’ genre
Indie gaming is as old as gaming itself. However, in 2009, a monopoly began to form. Minecraft showed that good ideas didn’t need Sony or Microsoft. At least, not yet. Now, Minecraft is almost a genre unto itself. From Fortnite’s building features to mature takes on the genre like The Outer Worlds, Minecraft’s legacy may best be summed up by the attempts to capitalize on its fame.
Games Radar noted all the games either capitalized on Minecraft’s concept or incorporated aspects into new experiences. Eco took the basic premise of the game and made it something closer to Civilization. Meanwhile, Subnautica took it all beneath the sea. Junk Jack took the block design and brought it to the retro-inspired 16-bit graphics, while Space Engineers made it all larger than life. One could argue that 2020’s breakout hit, Among Us, could not have happened without Minecraft.
Minecraft may be the biggest original concept of the 21st-century. It helped usher in an era where anyone with coding knowledge could make a hit. Whether someone is an avid player or they’ve never touched a Minecraft game, they’ve likely seen its impact in one way or another. This explains why Minecraft is a behemoth unto itself. Despite being ancient in gaming years, it shows no signs of slowing down, either.