Minecraft becomes the first game to surpass 1 trillion views on YouTube
Minecraft has been around the block on YouTube since its release more than a decade ago, pun intended. In this tech blog news, we get to look at a milestone that no other video games have ever achieved and how Minecraft gained so much popularity despite being only a so called "block game."
Minecraft needs no introduction, it is popular; it has sold over 238 million copies worldwide since its launch in 2009, making it the best-selling game of all time; it has over 140 million monthly unique active users globally; and it was enticing enough for Microsoft to spend an eye-watering $2.5 billion USD to acquire its developer Mojang back in 2014. And now here’s another milestone to add to the record books: it’s the first game in history to achieve one trillion views on YouTube. That’s right, the platform’s Minecraft content has topped 1,000,000,000,000 views. That’s a total of 12 zeros!
Originally released in 2009, Minecraft has always been popular on the video sharing site, thanks to its open and highly creative nature. In the blocky landscape, players can build whatever they want, and talented builders have flooded YouTube to show off their most astounding creations, which range from scale replicas of Hogwarts and the Starship Enterprise to working computers.
Stampy Cat, DanTDM, and PewDiePie, among the first wave of YouTube influencers, gained massive followers by playing Minecraft and developing their own narratives, events, and challenges thanks to the game’s open nature. According to Microsoft, there are currently over 35,000 active Minecraft creator channels on YouTube, with creators from 150 countries.
YouTube has released an animated video showcasing moments from Minecraft’s history on the platform, as well as changing the logo on the YouTube homepage for 24 hours to commemorate the one trillionth view. There will also be curated playlists featuring Minecraft creators and videos from all around the world.
To add to the celebration, YouTube has launched a new website with all kinds of facts regarding Minecraft’s journey over the last decade, as well as highlighting the creators and videos that helped Minecraft surpass 1,000,000,000,000 views.
According to the site, if each view is worth one second, one trillion views would take 30,000 years to complete. Given the fact that Minecraft has been around for 12 years, it means that Minecraft YouTubers have collectively produced an average of 2,500 years of content per year. To put things in perspective, that’s a longer length of time than the entire Common Era — it’s insane.
When you initially launch the page, one of the first things you can do is enter the amount of Minecraft videos you’ve watched to get an approximation of how much you contributed to the monstrous one trillion figure. We chose 50 as a point of reference at random. What is our contribution? 0.00000000005%! It is a very small percentage. It really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? You can also look at top content trends by country and discover who the most popular Minecraft creators are by year.
It’s fascinating to see how different Minecraft video genres evolve over time as they gain and lose popularity. In Minecraft’s early years, the multi-million view hits were music video parodies from Minecraft household names like CaptainSparklez. Now, Dream (who recently won a Game Award for content creator of the year) is currently dominating the charts with his “Minecraft Manhunt” series, in which his friends attempt to stop Dream from completing the game by any means necessary.
“Creative ingenuity is driving this continuous expansion of Minecraft viewership.”
– Earnest Pettie, YouTube
Minecraft’s chief storyteller Lydia Winters attributes the game’s trillion views to her team’s respect for the myriad ways players use Minecraft to tell their stories.
“We have people who are off on an adventure and people who are building and people who are playing together, and all those ways of playing are important to us,” she tells The Verge. As Minecraft’s chief storyteller, her team’s job is to create and curate a world players want to create in. That enabling of all kinds of storytelling has been critical to the game’s nigh untouchable popularity.
“The reason why Minecraft has been so successful on YouTube is because YouTube videos are a way to tell stories, so then when you have Minecraft, and you can tell any story you want in a Minecraft world, it’s a big reason why we have so many people creating Minecraft content.
– Lydia Winters, Minecraft’s Chief Storyteller
The most astonishing feature on a page full of staggeringly large numbers, though, is that Minecraft’s popularity isn’t expanding slowly but swiftly, despite the fact that it’s been around for well over a decade. “Believe it or not,” YouTube says, “all that energy and output appears to be gaining momentum. As our data shows, it took this community around eight years to generate 500 billion views, but only another two or so to double that and hit one trillion. What future heights they reach we can only guess at, but as with this milestone, it will be fun to watch it happen.”
“This game is over a decade old… the thing that allows it to continue to be as popular as it has been is the creators’ ability to think up new ways to keep it fresh.”
– Earnest Pettie, YouTube
Links & References
Wales, Matt. “Minecraft becomes first game to top one trillion views on YouTube.” Eurogamer, 17 Dec. 2021, https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-12-16-minecraft-becomes-first-game-to-top-one-trillion-views-on-youtube
Maher, Cian. “Minecraft is the first game to surpass 1 trillion views on YouTube.” For The Win, 17 Dec. 2021, https://ftw.usatoday.com/2021/12/minecraft-youtube-1-trillion-views
de Luna, Elizabeth. “Minecraft spawns a massive milestone, and YouTube is celebrating.” Mashable, 15 Dec. 2021, https://mashable.com/article/minecraft-youtube-trillion-views
Parrish, Ash. “Minecraft crosses 1 trillion views on YouTube.” The Verge, 15 Dec. 2021, https://www.theverge.com/2021/12/15/22838148/minecraft-1-trillion-views-youtube-mojang-microsoft
Stuart Keith. “Minecraft passes one trillion views on YouTube.” The Guardian, 15 Dec. 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/games/2021/dec/15/minecraft-passes-one-trillion-views-on-youtube
Sherr, Ian. “Minecraft crosses 1 trillion views on YouTube, most popular game ever on platform.” Cnet, 14 Dec. 2021, https://www.cnet.com/tech/gaming/minecraft-crosses-1-trillion-views-on-youtube-most-popular-game-ever-on-platform/