a "milestone no one could have dreamed of"
The biggest-selling video game in the world, Minecraft, has become the first video game to hit 300 million sales.
Developer Mojang Studios revealed it had sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.
That far surpasses its closest rival Grand Theft Auto V, which had sold 185 million copies as of August 2023.
But neither comes close to Super Mario as the best-selling franchise. Across its entire multi-game series, it has sold more than 800 million games.
The second-biggest franchise is retro puzzler Tetris, which has sold more than 520 million copies across its different variations since the 1980s.
Tetris has sold at least 425 million units on mobile devices alone, having had multiple versions of the game released on iOS and Android since 2008.
As a result, some lists consider it to be the best-selling game.
But these releases are significantly different in terms of mechanics and graphics, with a lot of variety between Tetris on Ericsson phones in 2001, Tetris Mania on mobiles in 2006, and the later releases on iOS and Android.
For this reason, Tetris is usually considered a series, whereas Minecraft is the same game whether it is played on Nintendo Switch or mobile.
The head of Minecraft Studios, Helen Chiang, said the 300 million figure was a “milestone no one could have dreamed of when we were all placing our first blocks”.
Minecraft was released by Mojang Studios in November 2011. But a pre-release, unfinished version was first available in 2009.
It is extremely popular with children, young adults, and adults alike, due to its sandbox nature – meaning if you can imagine it, you can build it with the game’s Lego-like blocks.
In 2014, Microsoft purchased Minecraft for £2 billion and has become a mainstay in its gaming empire, which Microsoft has just significantly expanded with its record-breaking £56 billion takeover of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard.
Minecraft‘s popularity is partially down to its enormous presence outside of the game itself.
According to Google, YouTube videos related to Minecraft have been viewed over one trillion times.
Even the most popular individual YouTubers, MrBeast and PewDiePie, have at one point made Minecraft videos.
And its influence spreads even further, with the game being used for unusual purposes.
The 300 million figure is a big jump up from the previous sales figure – 238 million – which was announced in April 2021.
And it is almost certain that a lot of people have bought more than one copy.
While Mojang publicly announces its figures, it is less transparent on exactly how that number breaks down, but we do know it represents sales across all platforms.
That means it includes the sales from its original launch on PC in 2011, mobile sales on iOS and Android, as well as on PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo hardware.