Gaming, Video Games

How Did Minecraft Become a Smash Hit?

Minecraft
(Courtesy of http://pentageek.com/minecraft-lanzara-actualizacion-en-xbox-live/)

Minecraft is an odd game; it’s basically virtual Legos set in an 8-bit world. It’s one of those weird things that just becomes super popular, yet nobody really knows how; kind of like Gangnam Style. The success of Minecraft is most likely never going to be replicated by Mojang, just like Gentleman never had the pop-culture impact that its predecessor did (Yes, I’m legitimately comparing Psy and Minecraft; don’t act like you’ve never watched Minecraft Style).

Aside from a lot of luck, what turned Minecraft into an empire including action figures, T-shirts, replica weapons, Lego sets, music, (such as the new “In Real Life” album by Tryhardninja; it’s actually a pretty good CD with Minecraft themed and inspired songs) and an entire gaming community that has generated billions of views on YouTube. How did that happen? Here’s what I think:

It’s Simple…: Minecraft is simple, on the outside.  Even toddlers can play and enjoy (and it’s much more convenient than hauling around Legos everywhere) by just building things. This appeals to gamers and non-gamers alike; everyone can play it without learning many mechanics, and the game doesn’t involve a whole lot of “skill.”

Yet It’s Complicated: Beyond simple building, Minecraft is quite complicated. It involves specific crafting and brewing recipes, and a lot of devotion in order to enjoy the full scope of the game. Tech savvy people can download mods to suit their every need, want, or desire. You want to download magic carpets, Chocobos, flammable gases, and falling meteors? Go ahead; make the game as complicated as you want. In short, Minecraft has something for everyone, at any skill level, with any level of attention span and determination.

An Inventive Community: There are literally hundreds of mini-games that have been created by the online community. Spleef, TNT Run, Hide and Seek, Paintball, The Walls, and of course, the Hunger Games are just a few of the many mini-games that can be played online. This brings people back to the game; whenever you think you’re done playing Minecraft, one of your favorite YouTubers showcases a new mini-game, and back to Minecraft you go.

Updates, Updates, Updates: Why do we set aside old games? Because they’re old. Mojang doesn’t let that happen; they’re always adding new animals, building blocks, mechanics, and features. These can change your experience greatly or hardly at all, but keeping the game new and fresh keeps players crawling back over and over again.

One Goal, Many Routes: If you’re playing Minecraft for the “main quest,” there are lots of different ways to get there. It can take a while, or you can be done in a couple days, but every time you start over, your experience differs greatly from the last time you played; this increases the replayability factor.

What are your thoughts? Is there anything I missed? Tell me below, leave a like or a follow, and check out my friends’ YouTube channels in the “Links” tab.

I’m Outta Here

Matt Shiflet

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2 thoughts on “How Did Minecraft Become a Smash Hit?”

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