Minecraft Turns 10
7 milestones in the history of this legendary game.
Create, explore and survive!
Minecraft, the blocky world-building phenomenon, celebrates its 10th anniversary in May 2019. With more than 150 million copies sold, it remains one of the most popular—and successful—games ever made.
What’s the secret to Minecraft’s enduring appeal? Jason Major, development lead for Minecraft’s Bedrock Engine, has a guess: the game’s open-ended, do-what-you-want accessibility.
“If you want to build the mansion of your dreams or a hobbit hole in the side of a mountain, you can do that,” Major says. “And if you want to be an adventurer and roam the countryside slaying hostile mobs, you can do that too.”
As you sculpt a giant birthday cake out of granite and quartz, here’s a look back at some key moments in Minecraft history.
May 2009: The humble beginning
On May 17, 2009, an experimental indie PC game called Minecraft is released to the public. Although still in rudimentary form, the game generates word-of-mouth buzz and, before long, earns serious cred. Most players don’t realize it yet, but this is the beginning of something really big.
October 2011: Mining on the move
Minecraft lands on iOS devices. And thanks to intuitive touch controls and buttery-smooth performance on iPhone and iPad, players can now build tiny, teeming worlds everywhere they go. It’s a commuter’s dream.
December 2013: Programming rocks!
A mobile update introduces a host of new items that can be crafted from redstone, a rare material found in the game. Before long, fans are creating wildly complex contraptions that run on real-world programming concepts—like an automated assembly line that brews magic potions. Some teachers use the game to explain coding fundamentals to their students.
December 2016: Means to an End
Mobile players get their first taste of the End, a dark dimension full of exotic creatures—and some of the game’s most precious loot. For fans of Minecraft’s solo-focused Survival mode, making it to the End is a crowning achievement. Making it out alive—especially when going face-to-face with the fearsome Ender Dragon—is another matter entirely.
September 2017: Joining forces
Minecraft developers merge the desktop, mobile, and console versions into a single, unified platform. (To signal the change, the name of the mobile game is revised from Minecraft: Pocket Edition to simply Minecraft.) With this Better Together update, a player on iPhone or iPad can link up with friends on console or PC—whether for cooperative exploration or massive, Hunger Games–style battles.
July 2018: Into the deep
The Update Aquatic brings Minecraft’s mobile oceans to life with underwater ruins, mysterious shipwrecks, and not-quite-drowned zombies. When players aren’t busy swimming with dolphins, they’re building oceanic mansions made of glittering glass.
April 2019: Bringing it home
Ten years after its launch, Minecraft revamps in-game settlements with the Village & Pillage update. There are new building materials and critters (including cats, at long last), as well as a wider, weirder assortment of villagers. Where Minecraft goes next is anyone’s guess.