Three million copies before the game releases a final version. Extraordinary numbers, and what Minecraft has been so proficient at is showing the true potential of word-of-mouth and the power of social networking and video sharing websites. Frankly, without the bigwigs of gaming on YouTube acknowledged the game's existence, Minecraft would still be another struggling indie game.
The strong sale count made the game's creator, Markus 'Notch' Persson, an overnight success story, solidifying his role as a leading figurehead of the indie movement. He went on to create Mojang, a small studio based in Sweden now employing ten people and working hard improving Minecraft and the recently revealed Scrolls, a card-based board game similar to Dungeons & Dragons. Minecraft is expected to ship its full version on 11/11/11, competing directly with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and other games.
The game raised to another level of popularity when 'MineCon' was announced, securing Minecraft's role as a cultural icon. The conference, hosted by the Mandalay in Las Vegas, will host potentially tens of thousands of fans, dressing up as every manner of creature. I'm expecting to see some very colourful and unique concepts given the uniqueness of the game, so November will be fun. Too bad I won't be going.
No game I've played gives the player true, unconditioned freedom. Minecraft comes to the threshold of that, but there's one main idea behind gameplay: to survive. As legions of ferocious monsters roam freely during the night, it is the player's immediate responsibility to find wood, coal, and build a shelter. Usually in the side of a mountain, anywhere to shield from the hordes of enemies. But oftentimes players ignore the leagues of blood-thirsty creatures and just start building massive contraptions, especially through the multiplayer where entire scenes of famous games have been recreated. Extravagant mods are now daily fodder for the gaming press, further exposing the game to the world.
So, Notch, I bid you a hearty Congratulations. You've shown indie hits can have universal success, and that success will explode once Minecraft hits consoles. Enjoy the success, swim half-naked in your pool of money, but don't forget we'd like to see more games in the future.