In the 10 years since it exited beta, Minecraft has become one of the world’s most beloved and best-selling games, with 140 million monthly unique players globally. Today, Dec. 15, it realizes a new achievement, and it’s a big one: 1 trillion views on YouTube. That’s right, Minecraft content on the platform has surpassed a whopping 1,000,000,000,000 views. That’s 12 zeros!
To commemorate the massive milestone, YouTube is celebrating with a mob of fun features. There’s a Minecraft-themed takeover of the YouTube homepage, and creators are sharing their favorite Minecraft memories using #MinecraftMuseum over on YouTube’s Instagram. If you’re playing today, you can check out a free in-game “YouTube Creator” skin pack featuring top Minecraft creators.
YouTube has also picked up their proverbial pickaxes to mine more than a decade of data for insights into the game’s growth. On their impressive interactive site, you can calculate your personal contribution to those 1 trillion views (mine was a pitiful 0.0000000003 percent), explore top content trends by country, and see the biggest Minecraft creator by year.
One of my favorite takeaways was that the game has racked up more than 500 billion views since 2019. That year, a natural resurgence in gameplay was burgeoned into a full-blown renaissance thanks to Keemstar’s popular Minecraft Monday tournament, Dream’s “Minecraft Manhunt” series, Pewdiepie’s renewed interest in Minecraft Let’s Plays, and interest from non-gaming creators like James Charles and Jack Black.
Creative ingenuity is driving this continuous expansion of ‘Minecraft’ viewership.
There’s one more celebratory gem that players and fans should check out: an animated video featuring top creators and some of the community’s best moments. There are Easter eggs abound, so keep your eyes peeled! YouTube’s Culture and Trends Insights Lead Earnest Pettie (who showed up to our Zoom wearing a YouTube Gaming sweater, naturally) says his favorite is a reference to CaptainSparklez’s music video parody “Fallen Kingdom.” The parody, which now sits at more than 145 million views, is an example of how Minecraft’s sandbox gameplay has become an “empty canvas” for creativity on YouTube, where creators use the game for everything from scripted role plays to activism.
“For some YouTube creators, [Minecraft videos are] an expression of their point of view as a comedian or as a game player,” explains Pettie, “and then you have people who are celebrating aspects of their identity, from Pride celebrations to people observing Ramadan.”
Even after 10 years, the game retains wide universal appeal. YouTube says it considers more than 35,000 of its creators to be part of the Minecraft community, and that the game was the most-watched on YouTube in 2020. Minecraft also jump-started the careers of YouTube’s most-subscribed individual creators, Pewdiepie and Mr. Beast, who still play on a regular basis.
Pettie says that Minecraft’s combo of flexibility and universality is key to its continued success. “Creative ingenuity is driving this continuous expansion of Minecraft viewership,” he says. “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.”