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We Finally Know Exactly How Popular ‘Minecraft’ Is

Have you heard about this Minecraft game? It’s super popular.

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Image: Flickr/Kevin Jarrett

Have you heard about this Minecraft that all the kids are playing? It's a video game kind of like Lego where you and your friends can build just about anything out of pixelated cubes, and it is incredibly popular.

To be precise, Microsoft, which acquired Minecraft's developer Mojang in 2014 for $2.5 billion, today revealed that since launch in 2009 Minecraft has sold 106,859,714 copies.

It's kind of hard to determine what the best-selling game ever is, because it depends on how you count, but this puts Minecraft way up there. For example, the paid mobile version of Tetris has reportedly sold 495 million copies. Wii Sports has sold 82 million copies. Grand Theft Auto V has sold 65 million copies.

We always had a rough idea of how popular Minecraft was. Mojang still has a counter on its website that shows how many copies the game sold on PC. Microsoft and Sony occasionally share how many copies the game sold on the Xbox One and PlayStation. Mojang would also occasionally say how many copies the game sold on mobile, which is the most popular version of the game by far.

Image: Microsoft.

Here's an impressive number: Over 40 million people play the game every month. At its peak, World of Warcraft had 12 million monthly players. Games like League of Legends (67 million monthly players) and Candy Crush Saga (550 million monthly players) are way bigger, but they're free. Minecraft's price has fluctuated since launch in 2009 and is different in different regions, but is now roughly $30 across the board.

Here's another impressive number: Since the beginning of 2016, Minecraft has averaged 53,000 copies per day.

This really seems like the reason Microsoft decided to make sales numbers transparent. For one, owning one of the most popular video games ever makes it more valuable to shareholders. It's a profitable, thriving part of its business. More importantly, it shows that—so far—Microsoft hasn't ruined Minecraft since acquiring it.