Players dig into building Minecraft game amid COVID-19 pandemic

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SAN FRANCISCO – Some 126 million people play ‘Minecraft’ each month, and more than 200 million copies of the construction and exploration game have been sold as online gaming increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Minecraft” turned 11 on Sunday, refreshed with updates and closed 2019 as the most-viewed game on YouTube.

“While 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year, we are proud that Minecraft continues to inspire and connect an ever-growing global community of passionate gamers and creators,” said Helen Chiang, head of Microsoft-owned Mojang Studios. , which manufactures the game.

In an effort to reach a younger tech user base, Microsoft bought the Swedish group behind the hugely popular “Minecraft” about six years ago for $ 2.5 billion, bolstering its games division.

The deal for Mojang gave Microsoft one of the best-known video games of all time, a game that is played on game consoles as well as PCs and mobile devices.

As part of its recent anniversary celebration, Mojang updated its logo and look in the spirit of unifying its studios in Redmond, Washington and Stockholm, according to Chiang.

Video games and online match viewing on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube and Facebook have seen tremendous growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shut down real-world leisure activities and kept billions in inside.

Evidence of the surge in games has been seen in the good results of Activision Blizzard, which said an average of 102 million people played its games such as “Call of Duty” online in the first quarter of this year. year.

The company has seen growth in titles such as “Overwatch”, “World of Warcraft” and the popular color-matching smartphone game “Candy Crush”.

Electronic Arts, meanwhile, has seen gamers flock to online sports in successful franchises dedicated to soccer, baseball, and American football.

“They play so much that they wear out their devices,” Jon Peddie Research analyst Ted Pollak said after game makers recently announced their findings.

A report by Futuresource Consulting called the game a “shooting star of the entertainment industry” and said it is expected to increase its share of the industry to 36% by 2023, from 31% last year.

“After a record year in 2019, with gaming software generating $ 143 billion in consumer spending, the industry is now poised for further growth, with a captive audience around the world acting as a catalyst,” the report says. . -France Media Agency


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