Few titles in gaming have left the same kind of mark and impact as Minecraft. Since its inception in 2011, the sandbox phenomenon has been played by millions of players worldwide and has become a cultural phenomenon. But if there is one thing we know about cultural phenomena, we know that they are highly lucrative. From the videogame itself, Minecraft came to brand its logo on toys, spinoffs, T-shirts, and everything in between. Due to everything said, let’s see how much Minecraft is worth in 2023.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated in November 2023 with the latest available numbers.
Minecraft a history of sales
Minecraft has seen significant success since its beta phase in early 2011, with over a million purchases within the first month. By April 2011, the game generated €23 million (US$33 million) in revenue, boasting 800,000 sales of the alpha version and over 1 million sales of the beta version.
In November 2011, before the full release, Minecraft’s beta reached 16 million registered users and 4 million purchases. As of October 10, 2014, it became the best-selling PC game of all time, selling 17 million copies. By May 2019, it had reached 180 million copies sold across all platforms, making it the best-selling video game globally.
The Xbox 360 version became profitable on the first day of release in 2012, breaking Xbox Live sales records. As of 2022, Minecraft, including all versions, had over 112 million monthly active players and had sold over 200 million copies by May 2020, with 140 million monthly active users by April 2021.
Minecraft’s revenue in the last ten years
Minecraft soared to new heights in the aftermath of the pandemic, experiencing a substantial surge in its user base, a trend observed across various digital companies. According to a report by PCGamer, the game boasted a global player count of 200 million, with an additional 20 million players joining the community this year alone.
August 2021 marked a milestone with a record-breaking monthly high of 161 million players, indicating a recent spike in multiplayer sessions. The introduction of the Nether Update the previous year injected fresh excitement into the game, attracting both new and returning players. In 2020, Minecraft had already amassed an impressive 131 million monthly active users.
This year continues the upward trajectory, evident in August 2021’s monthly active users reaching an unprecedented 161 million. While the extraordinary figures reflect the impact of the pandemic on the digital industry, Minecraft, like many other games, seized the opportunity to draw millions of new users into its gaming community.
In 2021, revenue reached $380 million, and anticipation builds for last year’s and this year’s statistics, promising insights into the continued success of the Mojang-founded game.
Microsoft’s substantial investment in Minecraft back in 2014—amounting to 2.5 billion USD—has proven to be a wise move, with annual revenues consistently recouping the initial investment. Over the last decade, Minecraft raked in a total revenue of 3.512 billion USD, underscoring the lucrative nature of the acquisition by Microsoft seven years ago.
The strategic purchase was geared towards enhancing the game’s adaptability for mobile and PC platforms. Minecraft PE enjoys more popularity than its PC and Xbox counterparts in the Asian and South American markets, particularly in regions with a high concentration of mobile users, such as India, China, and Brazil.
As gaming gains prominence among the youth, many digital enthusiasts are delving into the gaming niche, turning online gaming into a source of income. Various avenues, including competition participation, game streaming on private channels, and the emerging NFT market, are poised to contribute significantly to Minecraft’s revenue expansion in the coming year.
What are Minecraft’s main sources of revenue?
Minecraft’s main sources of revenue include game sales across platforms, with players purchasing the game on PC, consoles, and mobile devices. Additional income is generated through downloadable content (DLC), such as skin packs and expansion packs, allowing players to customize their gaming experience. The sale of Minecraft-branded merchandise, including clothing and toys, contributes to overall revenue.
The subscription-based hosting service, Minecraft Realms, offers players the ability to create and manage multiplayer worlds for a monthly fee. Mobile versions of Minecraft, like Minecraft: Pocket Edition, are available for purchase on app stores, with in-app purchases further contributing to revenue. Minecraft’s involvement in events, conventions, and partnerships, as well as potential advertising ventures, also play a role in its diverse revenue streams.
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