The Revival of Minecraft


Brett Bowers

Sophomore Ellie Pogorek plays Minecraft on her school issued computer.

Brett Bowers, Writer

Not often does society see games from independent developers surpass one million sold copies, yet somehow Minecraft has multiplied that number by 176. That’s right; one hundred and seventy-six MILLION copies of the indie game “Minecraft” have been sold as of now.

Minecraft is by far the most downloaded indie game of all time, and its popularity seems to reign, as it’s a household name. But recently, the public has seen Minecraft’s popularity decline, as renowned YouTubers such as SkyDoesMinecraft and HeyImBee have dropped the game, and are instead playing other games such as Fortnite or Rocket League. This switch directly correlates and is synchronized with the decline in Minecraft’s popularity.

This has weighed on some students at Olathe West, and some question why is Minecraft has seen a decline in popularity.

“I think that seeing what people you look up to are doing, or playing, has a big part in what you want to do, so people follow in their footsteps,” said freshman Aubryn Bowers. 

Influencers on social media have one of the biggest grips on society, as we see that their interest in certain areas then alters their audience’s view of it. For example, Kim Kardashian West, with over 110 million followers on Instagram, posted an advertisement for a dieting lollipop, known to allegedly “make you skinnier, and reduce hunger,” called “I Weigh,” and their growth tripled over the course of a week afterward. In the case of Minecraft, when renowned YouTube creator Ssundee ended his Minecraft series and instead primarily focused on Fortnite, Minecraft’s average growth dropped by 30%, as indicated by YouTube’s analytics, correlating with average Minecraft growth, weekly.

“When people see disinterest in things, they become sheep and follow in other people’s footsteps, no matter what they really feel,” said sophomore Anna Wilder.

After Fortnite started to gain bounds of interest, competitor’s began to increase their ambition to beat Fortnite’s statistics. A big contributor to Fortnite’s attention is the Battle Royale feature, as indicated by it being the most played game mode in the game.

“People and developers saw that Fornite’s growth was because of the Battle Royale feature, and so they wanted to copy that and try to attract people with the same thing,” Wilder said. “But it didn’t work because people saw that they were just copying Fortnite, and they didn’t want to support replicas, even though Fortnite itself is a replica.”

However, the public has seen a change in the patterns of Minecraft popularity, versus Fortnite’s popularity. Recently, Minecraft has regained popularity, yet again, because of memes about Minecraft and updates to the game, as indicated by the timeline in which the memes and updates to the game began, along with its popularity increase. These social media advertisements have caught the attention of the world and have led to Minecraft growing even further. 

This regrowth led to YouTuber PewDiePie to revive a series on Minecraft. His decision to do so influenced many dozens of others on YouTube to do the same, as mentioned by said YoutTubers. Only one week after PewDiePie uploaded his revival, and others did the same, Minecraft’s average growth per week increased by 40%, shown in the timeline of Minecraft’s growth, and the timing of the videos being published.

“I definitely think YouTubers have the biggest effect on kids now,” freshman Tyler Rosenbohm said. “Like, when PewDiePie made a new Minecraft series, everyone wanted to play it again.”

The revival of Minecraft means many things for the public, and for the game’s developers, both negatively and positively. Not only does it mean that the demand for updates is going to increase, but it also means that the competitors will receive more demand for play-worthy games.