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Updated Feb 16, 2015 at 04:45AM EST by Alex Mercer.

Added Nov 05, 2010 at 09:56AM EDT by morwil.

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Minecraft (initially titled “Cave Game”) is an indie Java video game created by Markus Persson (aka “Notch”). It is a sandbox mining / building game in which the player gathers various resources and combine them in different ways to create new objects and building structures. It has developed a significant following online with popular player-run servers, YouTube videos, and image derivatives. The full version of the game was released during the MineCon 2011.



Notch is the handle of Mark Persson, a Swedish indie game developer and founder of Mojang Specifications that is best known for creating the sandbox building game Minecraft. Largely due to the success of Minecraft, Persson has become an iconic figure within the fanbase and online gaming culture.


This first public development stage of the game was released on May 17, 2009 . It is currently abandoned by Mojang although it is currently available to play for free in single-player and multiplayer modes on the website through typing in its corresponding URL. Many features had not been added yet, such as mobs, health, and crafting, and the player had an infinite amount of blocks at their disposal. It was mainly a creative multiplayer mode, where players would collaborate to build. Classic for a while had something over its later survival counter-parts. Colored wool. Which is why in the Beta 1.2 update (which added coloured wool) Classic saw a drop in players. The official server software is available for free, but there are also third-party server software’s with added functionality. Sound and saving levels will no longer work by default because the required resources have been removed by Mojang and to retain them must require extreme methods.

Phase I: In Development

The Indev (In Development) phase started on December 23rd, 2009 and ended on February 27th, 2010. It is currently abandoned by Mojang is no longer available on the website. It was preceded by Classic and followed by Infdev. Indev included many of the features that Minecraft would become famous for such as crafting, an inventory, being able to drop and pick up items and blocks, third person mode, player armor, the day / night cycle, armor and adjustable difficulty. The player would spawn in a mossy cobblestone/wood house which depending on update would also spawn a chest with items as well. In later updates the player could choose different types of world generation like floating islands and a hell theme that replaces water with lava.

Phase II: Infdev

The Infdev (Infinite Development) phase started on February 27th 2010 and ended on June 28th 2010. It is currently abandoned by Mojang and is no longer available on the website. It was preceded by Indev and followed by Alpha. Infdev’s main purpose was to catch an near-infinite terrain with Indev’s content. Other then near-infinite terrain, Infdev had shared a features of its own, like more crafting, minecarts and tracks, doors, ladders, signs and 3 Dimensional clouds. The Seecret Friday Updates started during this stage.

Phase III: Alpha

The Alpha phase started on 28th June 2010 and ended on 3rd December 2010. It is currently abandoned by Mojang. It was preceded by Infdev and followed by Beta. Alpha’s main purpose was to show Minecraft closer to coming to its release and adding a lot more features to the game. Some of these include survival multiplayer mode, upgraded height build limit, the famous redstone and biomes. One of the hugest changes was during the Halloween Update which added a new dimension called the “Nether” which represents hell. The Seecret Friday Updates ended during this stage.

Phase IV: Beta

Minecraft Beta was released on December 20th, 2010 and has been continuously updated. In this version, the player is thrown into a randomly generated game world where they start with no items and must build everything from scratch. Typically a player will scramble to make some sort of shelter before the sun goes down, and dangerous enemies will come out and attempt to kill the player. Players call this game play style “Survival” Mode.

Phase V: Adventure Update

On September 14th, 2011, Minecraft 1.8, also known as the “Adventure Update”, was released by Team Mojang with several new features including a food system, experience bars, sprinting, and the Slenderman inspired Enderman mob. Notch has confirmed that this update is only Part 1 on the adventure update. They have said “Part 2” is to be released as Minecraft 1.9 (Which eventually released as Minecraft 1.0).

Creative Mode

The creative mode was released as a part of the Minecraft 1.8 Adventure update. Players may choose this mode when creating a new world, instead of the default “Survival” mode talked about above. In this mode, players can fly by double tapping their jump key, have unlimited materials to build with, and can break any block instantly.

Official Release of Version 1.0

On November 18th, 2011, Notch announced the release of Minecraft 1.0 by pulling a life-size lever that is identical to the in-game switch) on the first day of Minecon 2011 in Las Vegas. The seminal update marked the conclusion of its beta stage and introduced several features that were promised in the previous update but postponed due to time constraints, including a new realm known as “The End” where the ending of the game can be achieved, as well as a number of enchanting items.

Hardcore Mode

The hardcore mode was released in the Minecraft 1.0 update. Players may choose this game mode while creating a new world. Hardcore mode is the same thing is survival mode, except for one detail. If the player dies, then the player’s world file gets deleted, and he/she can not recover it.

Microsoft Acquisition

On September 10th, 2014, Bloomberg News[18] reported that the American consumer electronics company Microsoft was in talks to purchase Mojang for $2 billion. On September 15th, Microsoft announced it would be purchasing the company for $2.5 billion. The same day, Mojang[19] published a blog post about the acquisition, which revealed that Minecraft creator Markus Persson had become overwhelmed by the game’s success and sold his stakes in the company to Microsoft along with co-founders Carl Manneh and Jakob Porsér, effectively announcing his departure from the project. The post was subsequently submitted to the /r/minecraft[20] subreddit, where it gained over 5,000 votes (96% upvoted) and 3,800 comments in the first five hours. In addition to Mojang’s press release, Persson also released a personal statement via Pastebin (shown below).[21]

I’m leaving Mojang.

I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I’ve had so much fun with work. I wasn’t exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn’t understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.

Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them.

I’m aware this goes against a lot of what I’ve said in public. I have no good response to that. I’m also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I’m right there struggling with you.

I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.

It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.


The game has seen overwhelmingly positive reviews from PC Gamer[1], Good Game[2], Gamasutra[3], and Rock, Paper, Shotgun.[4] The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “The Art of Video Games”[5] exhibit opening on March 16th, 2012, will be displaying Minecraft as one of the 80 games that were selected for the exhibit.


According to Wikipedia, Minecraft sales began to soar in September of 2010:

In September 2010, after an impromptu “free to play” weekend, the game had a spike in sales of over 25,000 purchases in 24 hours. On January 12, 2011, Minecraft passed 1,000,000 purchases, less than a month after reaching Beta. At the same time, the game had no publisher backing and has never been commercially advertised except through word of mouth. By April 2011, Persson estimated that Minecraft had made €23 million (US$33 million) in revenue, with 800,000 sales of the alpha version of the game at €9.95, and over 1 million sales of the beta version at €14.95. On the 11th of November, 2011 it was revealed that Minecraft had sold 4 million copies and had 16 million registered users [17].

Minecraft in Education

To celebrate the opening of a Learning Commons inside their library in October 2011, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia created an exact replica in Minecraft.[14][15]

Also that month, a group called TeacherGaming LLC announced MinecraftEdu[16], a custom mod of the game built specifically for teachers to use in the classroom. Working with Mojang, they have secured educational discounts on the game and organized workshops for teachers to learn how to use the game in their classroom. The project was spearheaded by New York teacher Joel Levin[17] who runs a YouTube channel[18] featuring Minecraft instructional videos, which receives about 1700 views a day.


3D Pixel Architecture

Minecraft Pixel Art refers to any two-dimensional artwork or three-dimensional sculpture created with multi-colored blocks in the indie sandbox game. Effigies of video game, cartoon and Internet meme characters are commonly found on Minecraft pixel art servers.

Fan Art


For more, browse the Minecraft machinima video gallery.

Virtual Engineering

For more, browse the Minecraft virtual engineering video gallery.


More can be found in the Minecraft parody video gallery.

Let’s Play

More can be found in the Minecraft let’s play video gallery.


Mojang AB announced that MineCon, a convention for all Minecraft players, would be held on the 18th and 19th of November at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The official website[17] for event announced that they would be celebrating the official launch of the game:

Celebrate the official launch of Minecraft with your friends from around the world and the Mojang Team. Get ready for a fun weekend of everything Minecraft. The first MineCon is sure to blow away all of your expectations. Set in the fantastic city of Las Vegas, we are ready to have the ultimate “block” party.

Minecraft Creeper

In Minecraft, a Creeper is a hostile mob (mobile entity) character that sneaks up on unsuspecting players, chasing them and hissing for a second and a half before self-destructing.[1]


On July 26th, 2011, Notch posted an update on Google+[6] saying “The new mob I’ve been working on is a bit creepy..” with an attached Minecraft screenshot showing several creepy dark characters off in the distance. You can also see a giant mushroom in the backround, which would also come in the update.

When the image was posted to Reddit[4] the same day, Notch replied to the thread saying he would be officially naming them “Endermen”, referencing the mythical Slenderman creature.
In a blog post[5], Notch revealed that the mob would have some interesting A.I. mechanics. Endermen was officially introduced as part of the Minecraft 1.8 adventure update.

I made the Endermen freeze and turn towards you when you look at them. As long as you look straight at them, they stand perfectly still and look straight at you. As soon as you look away, they will run (very fast) towards you.

And they teleport. If they’re too far away to reach you in a short period of time, they will teleport about once per second. They try to make sure they always teleport to somewhere you can see, as I don’t want to confuse the player as to what is happening.

Punching Trees Give Me Wood

“Punching Trees Gives Me Wood” is a catchphrase that comes from the popular sandbox game Minecraft. Within the fanbase, The phrase “punching trees” has been generally used in reference to playing the game itself, as in “brb, gonna go punch sum wood.” Alternatively, it can be also interpreted as a double entendre, as in “playing Minecraft gives me a hard-on.”


Herobrine, also known as “HIM”, is a mysterious character from a Minecraft-themed creepypasta story. He is portrayed as a non-player character in single-player Minecraft with the default skin and completely white eyes.

Minecraft Guy

The Minecraft Guy is an image macro series inspired by the indie sandbox game Minecraft. It features a slightly skewed image of the head from the game’s default skin accompanied by a colorwheel background using patterns from various Minecraft blocks. The captions either describe humorous actions that a typical Minecraft player may perform or jokes about the game itself.


Creeparka (Japanese: クリーパーカー; Kurīpākā) refers to a hooded sweatshirt featuring the pixel-patterned skin of Creeper, the iconic mob character from the sandbox indie game Minecraft. On the Japanese web, Creepyparka has gained the status of a cult item among the fans of the game, inspiring a series of moe and gijinka illustrations depicting a sexy female character known as “Creeparka-san” dressed in the concept apparel.

Search Interest

Search queries for “minecraft” saw a significant increase around the same time as the “free to play” weekend of September 2010, which also marked a significant increase in sales. As of June 2011, search queries still appear to be rising in volume.

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