October 31, 2018 Minecraft player counts are rising dramatically thanks to China.
Minecraft player count continues to grow, and it’s seeing the biggest boosts to its popularity courtesy to a recent release in China. That version of the game alone now has over 150 million players – the original worldwide release had sold 144 million copies back in January. So what it took the original Minecraft nearly a decade to do, the Chinese version managed in little over a year.
China’s edition of Minecraft has one big advantage for rapidly-increasing player counts: it’s free-to-play. That’s pretty standard for the Chinese market, but don’t dismiss the numbers because of the low barrier to entry. It’s comparable to the biggest gaming success stories around.
Fortnite player numbers reached a total of 125 million just one year after release, which gives a pretty good indicator of where Minecraft China ranks. China got the building game starting with various betas last year, and reached 100 million players by May 2018, as analyst Daniel Ahmad reports.
Earlier this month, Microsoft reported that has 91 million monthly active players – 13 million more than Fortnite. Given Minecraft’s age and its apparent replacement in the hearts of kids by Epic’s battle royale, that sounded weird at the time – but China offers all the explanation needed.
With Minecraft’s success and strong playerbase there’s not been much discussion of Microsoft creating Minecraft 2. Helen Chiang, head of Minecraft at Microsoft, recently said in interview with Business Insider Australia that a sequel could fracture the community and its playerbase.
“We’re trying to keep our community together,” Chiang says. “That’s why our updates are free. We don’t want to ask [players] to move from ‘Minecraft 1’ to ‘Minecraft 2’. We want them to just enjoy ‘Minecraft.’
“There’s other ways that we can expand that are more meaningful and authentic to what we want to be, rather than just releasing another iteration in the way that most other franchises do.”