The unabated popularity of Minecraft is simply staggering. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Microsoft have announced that it’s now sold a staggering 176 million copies, putting on an extra 20 million in the seven months since MineCon last September.
That new figure is important, because it surpasses the last known figure for Tetris, which stood at 170 million as of 2010 – 70 million physical and 100 million mobile downloads. Of course, Tetris sales haven’t stood still since then, with recent iterations such as Tetris Effect and Tetris 99 adding to that figure, but the rate at which Minecraft has been selling, it’s almost sure to surpass the classic puzzler sooner rather than later. The fact that Microsoft aren’t currently stating that it’s the best selling game of all time means that they aren’t there just yet.
Part of the appeal of Minecraft is just how deep the main game is, with more than a few expansions and mods opening a vast number of gameplay possibilities – heck, Minecraft played host to one of the very first Battle Royale game modes. Last September Microsoft announced Minecraft: Dungeons, a PC oriented co-op dungeon crawler built within the game, there’s a wholesale rewrite of the game’s graphics engine underway, and it’s set to branch out into augmented reality gaming with today’s announcement of Minecraft Earth.
Minecraft Earth will have players heading out and about to find blocks and mobs for builds, which can then be cobbled together in augmented reality. There’s a co-op element to this as you can team up with friends to create builds and then drop them into the AR world, alongside other traditional Minecraft elements such as crafting, breeding and growing crops.