Microsoft has confirmed Minecraft has now sold 176 million copies, likely making it the biggest-selling game of all time.
Minecraft’s creative director Saxs Persson made the announcement in a post (thanks, PC Gamer) on Microsoft’s official website, which also revealed Minecraft Earth, an new free-to-play augmented reality game for mobile that will “bring the creative nature of Minecraft to the real world”.
As sale estimates of its nearest rival, Tetris, vary wildly from 170 million to 425 million, no-one’s entirely sure if Mojang has pushed its blocky-sibling from the top spot. The news does, however, confirm that Minecraft has sold an additional 20 million copies in just seven months, and puts it significantly higher than third place Grand Theft Auto V, which has shifted around 110 million copies so far.
As for Minecraft Earth? Players will be able to “go out in the real world to find small clusters of blocks, chests or mobs called Tappables”, as well as “small slices of Minecraft worlds that you play in life-size AR”. The AR game – which “blends state-of-the-art Microsoft technology like Azure Spatial Anchors tracking and PlayFab integration to bring the game to life” – will include many of the features from the Vanilla Minecraft, as well as new ones Microsoft has chosen not to reveal just yet.
Amazingly, players can build their “own permanent creations “in Minecraft Earth through Build Plates – “the best implementation of the creative spirit of the Vanilla game”. The game will also be optimised for social multiplayer experiences, and anyone with an AR-capable smartphone and Minecraft Earth installed will be able to drop in/out of sessions quickly.
“We can think of no better way to celebrate our 10-year anniversary than finally being able to tell you about our augmented reality mobile game “Minecraft Earth” which will be free-to-play on both iOS and Android,” said Persson. “This is Minecraft like you’ve never experienced it before, bringing you the best of Minecraft in real life!”