is a sandbox construction game created by Mojang Studios founder Markus "Notch" Persson, inspired by Infiniminer, Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, and Notch's past games Legend of the Chambered and RubyDung. Gameplay involves players interacting with the game world by placing and breaking various types of blocks in a three-dimensional environment. In this environment, players can build creative structures, creations, and artwork on multiplayer servers and singleplayer worlds across multiple game modes.
Minecraft: Java Edition is available for US$26.95. When purchased, singleplayer and multiplayer game modes can be played using the downloadable stand-alone launcher. The official demo is free but has a time limit. Minecraft development started around May 10, 2009, and pre-orders for the full game were accepted starting from June 13, 2009. Minecraft's official release date was November 18, 2011. As of July 4, 2018, Java Edition is the second best-selling PC game of all time and has reached 35 million sales as of April 19, 2020.
On August 16, 2011, Minecraft: Pocket Edition, the first edition to use the Bedrock Edition codebase, was released for the Sony Xperia Play gaming smartphone. After its exclusivity with Sony expired, it was released for Android devices on October 7, 2011, iOS devices on November 17, 2011, Fire OS devices on September 13, 2012, and Windows Phone 8.1 on December 10, 2014, for US$6.99. Bedrock Edition was then ported to non-mobile platforms for the first time, starting with Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition on July 29, 2015, and followed by Minecraft: Gear VR Edition on April 27, 2016, and Minecraft: Apple TV Edition and Minecraft: Fire TV Edition on December 19, 2016. On December 1, 2016, Pocket Edition reached 40 million sales. On December 19, 2016, Pocket Edition for Windows Phone 8.1 was officially discontinued. It was replaced by Pocket Edition for Windows 10 Mobile on February 22, 2017. On September 24, 2018, Apple TV Edition was officially discontinued.
On May 9, 2012, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition was released for the Xbox 360 on Xbox Live Arcade for US$19.99, where it subsequently broke every previous sales record. Xbox 360 Edition was the first version to use the codebase known as Legacy Console Edition. It was followed by Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition on December 17, 2013, Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition on September 4, 2014, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition on September 5, 2014, Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition on October 14, 2014, Minecraft: Wii U Edition on December 17, 2015, and Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition on May 11, 2017. All editions under this codebase have since been discontinued.
On February 11, 2013, Minecraft: Pi Edition was released for the Raspberry Pi. Pi Edition was intended as an educational tool for novice programmers and users were encouraged to open and change the game's code using its API. There were never any subsequent updates and the edition is now officially discontinued.
On September 15, 2014, Mojang Studios and all of its assets (including Minecraft) were purchased by Microsoft for US$2.5 billion.
Minecraft China was released on September 5, 2017, for iOS; August 8, 2017, for PC; and October 12, 2017, for Android. The gameplay is similar to Java and Bedrock editions but is free to play.
After a beta testing period, Minecraft: Education Edition was released on November 1, 2016, for US$5 per user per year. Education Edition contains features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom setting.
On September 13, 2017, Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition was released for the New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, and New Nintendo 2DS XL. This edition was officially discontinued on January 15, 2019.
On September 18, 2017, the original version of Minecraft was renamed to Minecraft: Java Edition. Shortly thereafter, on September 20, 2017, the Better Together Update for Bedrock Edition was released on Android, iOS, Fire OS, Windows 10, Samsung Gear VR, and Fire TV, and the editions Pocket Edition, Windows 10 Edition, Gear VR Edition, and Fire TV Edition were then renamed to have the single title Minecraft with no edition name. A port of Bedrock Edition to the Xbox One platform was released that day, discontinuing and replacing the original Xbox One Edition, and a port of Bedrock Edition to the Nintendo Switch platform was released on June 21, 2018, discontinuing and replacing the original Nintendo Switch Edition. The final platform to receive Bedrock Edition was the PlayStation 4 on December 10, 2019, replacing PlayStation 4 Edition.
On September 29, 2018, a spin-off game, Minecraft Dungeons, was officially announced, and was released on May 26, 2020. Minecraft Dungeons is an action-adventure RPG where players complete quests in procedurally generated levels.
On May 17, 2019, a spin-off mobile game, Minecraft Earth, was officially announced, and entered closed beta on July 16, 2019. Minecraft Earth is an augmented-reality game where players can build structures and collect materials by traveling to real-life locations. On January 5, 2021, Minecraft Earth received its final update, and the game is set to be shut down on June 30, 2021.
Minecraft has sold over 200 million copies across all platforms as of May 2020, making it both the best-selling video game of all time and the ninth-best-selling video game franchise of all time, and has 126 million active monthly players as of May 2020. In total, the game has over 500 million players, with over 300 million registered users playing on Minecraft China.