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When did Minecraft come out? Everything you need to know

Minecraft has come a very long way from its alpha builds. Image via Mojang
Minecraft has come a very long way from its alpha builds. Image via Mojang

Minecraft, the brainchild of ex-King developer Markus "Notch" Persson and Swedish game dev studio Mojang, has had a meteoric rise to success in the video game industry.

But when did it all begin?

By 2009, Notch had been working on prototype games in his off-time, particularly one he coined "RubyDung," inspired by games like Dwarf Fortress. When a block-based game known as "Infiniminer" was released, Notch was motivated to take "RubyDung" to the next level. Separating his game from Infiniminer by adding RPG elements, the game that would become Minecraft would begin development in May of 2009.

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Minecraft: Alpha and beta versions and the game's full release

Although Minecraft is far removed from its alpha phase, some fans have sought the version out for nostalgic reasons. Image via Mojang
Although Minecraft is far removed from its alpha phase, some fans have sought the version out for nostalgic reasons. Image via Mojang

On May 17, 2009, Minecraft's initial build on the Java platform was released to the public. It was tweaked due to forum feedback, and its alpha version would release on June 30, 2010. As the sales of Minecraft's alpha version rose, Notch would leave his day job and work on the game full-time. This gamble would pay off, and Notch's updates led to content releases such as new blocks and the now-popular Survival Mode.

To foundationally support Minecraft's development, Notch founded Mojang with early sales money made from the alpha. On December 20, 2010, Minecraft entered its beta phase, and Notch maintained that future updates and content releases would remain free.

Less than a year later, Minecraft emerged from its beta phase and the full game was released to the public on November 18, 2011. A few weeks later, Notch would pass creative control of Minecraft to Jens "Jeb" Bergensten, a co-developer of Minecraft who had now become its lead designer.

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Minecraft's popularity skyrocketed. By 2014, Microsoft (among many other video game giants such as Blizzard and Electronic Arts) expressed huge interest in acquiring Minecraft's intellectual property. Microsoft pulled the trigger and purchased Mojang and the game's IP in September of 2014 after Notch suggested that a corporate interest buy his share of Minecraft. This has been linked due to some criticism Notch received that was regarding the game's End User License Agreement (EULA) and the rules for online multiplayer servers.

The sale was finalized in November 2014, and Mojang was purchased for $2.5 billion, making Notch an overnight appearance on Forbes' billionaires list. After this acquisition, Notch left Mojang and left control to Jeb for the company and the game's new era under the Microsoft umbrella.

Since 2014, Minecraft's popularity has only swelled thanks to dedicated and consistent content updates, additional versions on many different platforms, and a huge merchandising and marketing campaign including partnerships with LEGO. Minecraft's standard protagonist "Steve" has even been featured in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch.

Minecraft began as a pet project and rose quickly to become one of the most successful and popular video games of all time. Millions of players of all ages have enjoyed its simplicity, but also its in-depth nuances and mechanics. It's unlikely Minecraft's popularity will be slowed or matched for a very long time, and its dedicated player base is more than happy about that.


Read More: List of mobs that were removed from Minecraft

For detailed guides, walkthroughs, tips & more, check out SK Minecraft Wiki

Edited by Nikhil Vinod
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