Video gaming is obviously a huge business, but people sometimes forget that watching other people play video games is also a lucrative sector in itself.
That was demonstrated again this week as Minecraft surpassed one trillion views on YouTube, making it the most watched game on the platform.
Minecraft has been around for a very long time by video game standards, launching in 2009. Since then it has been purchased more than 200 million times and remains one of the most played video games in the world.
The funny thing is that Minecraft doesn’t exactly look slick, as compared to more mainstream games like Fortnite or League of Legends. The graphics are intentionally blocky, like old graphics from 1990 video games.
But the key to Minecraft is that players can build anything they can imagine, and fans flock to see talented modellers building wild representations of Hogwarts or scenes from Star Wars, for example. According to Microsoft, which owns the franchise, there are are now more than 35,000 active Minecraft creator channels on YouTube, based in 150 different countries.
To celebrate the one trillion milestone, YouTube has released an animated video featuring moments from the history of Minecraft on the platform, and is also changed the logo on the YouTube homepage for 24 hours. YouTube also curated bespoke Minecraft playlists.
Minecraft is also becoming one of the most important first movers in the rapidly growing Metaverse licensing space. The game has already launched several licensing deals for digital goods, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that’s just the beginning of turning major game titles into metaverse worlds.
“You absolutely can expect us to do things in gaming,” Nadella said. “You could even think about—if you take Halo as a game, it is a metaverse. Minecraft is a metaverse. And so is Flight Sim. So in some sense, they’re 2D today, and the question is can you now take that to a full 3D world? We absolutely plan to do so.”