Minecraft Sales Signal Continued Power of Xbox Live

(Ping! Zine) – A blast from the past: That’s how one could describe the feel of the popular game Minecraft. Its graphics recall a day when game development was still in its infancy and users had to log into MS-DOS to launch some of their favorite titles. It’s a welcome notion for many: Not having to get caught up in a game that contains a complex plot and overdoes things by pushing HD graphics. Through its gameplay, users survive in a 3D world: constructing shelters, gathering resources and of course, dealing with monsters who threaten the harmony of their existence.

Minecraft has been hailed for keeping things simple and fun. Initially launched in 2009 as an Alpha release for computers, the game has grown, obtaining what could be described by some as a “cult following.”

After seeing releases on top mobile platforms including Android and iOS, Minecraft officially arrived on the market’s top console device just last Wednesday: The Xbox 360. So how would it perform? Exceptionally well, according to Xbox blog MajorNelson.com. The statistics reveal that in just 24 hours, the game outperformed all other titles ever sold in the Xbox Live category of digital arcade games. By Tuesday, the same blog reported that sales had reached more than one million units sold worldwide via Xbox Live.

It’s an interesting concept: a game that starts off in the PC market, rapidly grows and draws enough interest to see its presence spread to other gaming platforms. However, it’s a model that’s been used before. More than two years after strategy game StarCraft was released on PC and Mac, developers at Blizzard Entertainment worked with Mass Media to make the popular title available for the Nintendo 64 in 2000. The result wasn’t as gleaming as Minecraft’s conversion to the Xbox 360 platform. Game control was sometimes difficult to perform and the game just lacked what StarCraft offered via its PC and MAC editions.

But Minecraft’s simple interface seems to make it suitable for a variety of gaming platforms. It also represents a model of success. Despite being launched nearly seven years ago, the Xbox 360 isn’t slowing down. Just last month, Microsoft, the developer of the popular device reported that the 360 remained the number one gaming console in the market. Minecraft’s renewed popularity via its 360 release also signals the continued power of Xbox Live, Microsoft’s multiplayer gaming platform: Major Nelson also reported on Monday that Minecraft users had already spent a total of 2.4 million hours playing the game via Xbox Live through 4 million game sessions.

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