Here’s When Minecraft Stopped Being Free

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Even though some wouldn’t want to admit it, Minecraft has become an insanely popular game that very few games can compete with in popularity. With 238 million copies sold worldwide, it holds the title for the best-selling game and the second place is still off by 68 million copies. That’s a lot of revenue going to Mojang and Microsoft, and it’s hard to imagine a world where Minecraft was ever free, but it’s true, it was, so when did it stop being free?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Minecraft stopped being free approximately five months after its release when its price was raised to around 7 USD.
  • Beyond that point, Minecraft was only ever free as a demo version and the browser version called Minecraft Classic. Both aren’t without their limits, so it’s hard to that Minecraft is still free today.

Is Minecraft no longer free?

The birth of Minecraft happened back in May 2009. During that time, as a six-day passion project of Markuss Peerson, also known as Notch, the game was shared on the internet’s forums, where it was free to play. It wasn’t the game we all know and love today, it was simple, and you could build a cobblestone house and mine dirt.

It attracted the attention of many users even though it was very simple at first and even though other game giants were coming up with far better games. The community is what brought Minecraft to the level it is today. During the seven months after its initial release, realizing the game’s potential among the community, Notch slowly started adding elements to the game.

After the fact, Minecraft officially entered its in-dev development stage but the reason for the first price rise because when the in-dev version began development, you had to have a premium account to access it, which cost 5 euros or 7 dollars.

What version of Minecraft was free?

Minecraft was free from version 0.0.11a through versions 0.0.15a, 0.0.16a, 0.0.18a, and 0.24 all the way to version indev 0.31, which is when Minecraft entered its indev development stage. The next price increase happened when Minecraft entered Alpha, and the last official price release was when Minecraft was officially released.

Classic Minecraft


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Will Minecraft be free in 2024?

Minecraft will never be free again; it’s just too much for game developers and big gaming companies to ask for. We can’t keep living in the past, thinking of ”better days” and expecting everyone to fall suit. We all love free stuff, but it doesn’t necessarily mean asking for free Minecraft is right. It would be like if you made something with your bare hands, spent years making it, and then someone comes and asks you to give it to them for free and gets mad when you don’t

Block Friday

You’d also be wrong if you thought you could get Minecraft for cheaper straight from Mojang. Even though Mojang participates in black Friday sales every year called Black Friday, the only things that come at enviable prices are the skins and other products meant to enhance your gameplay through the Minecraft store. Minecraft also offered cheaper merch during that time, but it never happened that the game itself was cheaper.

Minecraft launchers

Minecraft does not officially endorse Minecraft launchers that do not come from them. It’s considered piracy, and no one can be responsible for what happens to your computer after you decide to download one of these launchers. Even the launchers recommend you buy the official version once you’re ready and come up with some money to spare.

There are dozens of Minecraft launchers out there, but among the sea of these launchers, the one that stands out the most is Tlauncher. TLauncher makes it easy to access all official versions of Minecraft, and you can even download Forge, OptiFine, and Fabric without struggling with tedious download processes.

Sounds compelling, but before you decide to download I suggest you do your research and, if you can, spend the money on the official version.

Minecraft prices through the years

We’ve already covered the first price increase that happened to Minecraft and the versions that witnessed further price increases, but I haven’t touched upon the price increases by talking about the exact numbers. In December 2009, Minecraft cost 5 euros or 7 dollars; six months later, in June 2010, there was another price increase.

The price increased from 5 to 10 euros or approximately 15 USD. In December of the same year, there was another price increase, raising the game’s price to 15 euros, which is around 20 dollars. Minecraft was officially released in November of 2011, and this is when we witnessed the final price increase to 20 euros or approximately 26 dollars.

If you go to the official Minecraft website and check out how much the game costs today, you’ll see that it’s actually 30 dollars, so why the price increase if there was no talk about another price increase? My best guess is that it has to do with inflation. Inflation decreases the value of money, so 27 dollars back in 2011 can buy you an equal amount as 30 dollars in 2022.

Minecraft demo version

This is one of the two official ways to play Minecraft for free, but you won’t be able to enjoy all the benefits of Minecraft for long with it. The demo version is available to players who download the launcher but haven’t yet purchased the game. You’ll be prompted to play the demo version once you download the launcher.

Your free enjoyment of the game will last five in-game days or 100 minutes in real life. After the fact, you’ll be locked out of playing Minecraft and have to purchase the game to continue playing it.

Minecraft Classic

Minecraft Classic is a free version of the game made to be played on internet browsers, but not without its limitations. You won’t get to save a game, access your worlds, or join any existing servers unless you make one in-game that will get deleted once all of the players leave the server. You can play with up to nine players and set your world size too small, medium, or huge.

You can move with WASD keys, jump, and toggle fog. No tools and blocks will break with only one click, just like in creative mode. You can also place new blocks. There’s not much to do in the game either, as you don’t have the same variety of blocks as paid versions of the game. There are 32 blocks to play around with, and it’s not meant to replace the Minecraft experience you get with the paid version of the game.


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It’s only to bring up nostalgia that players who have been around since the game’s conception experienced when they first started playing. If you want to immerse yourself in that experience, I recommend it, but the demo version is much better by today’s standards, even though you can’t play it for longer than an hour and 40 minutes.

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