Did you hear the news? Minecraft has sold more than 14 million units through to consumers since it originally became available... and that's on "the computer version" alone! If you asked anyone in the video gaming industry five years ago whether a game like Minecraft could find that kind of success, no one would have said yes.
That's just how video games work. This industry is all about proving itself to the other mediums out there. The publishers hide their financial information, their hard sales data, and their emotions (how sad!) from the consumer, the passionate gaming fan. Why?
I'd say something about the desire to build a core audience with fire in their eyes for blockbuster action games, but Marcus "Notch" Persson is tearing all that down around us.
Minecraft moving 14 million units of "the computer version" is insane because I can tell you they've moved millions more on iOS, on Android, on Xbox 360, and now on PS3. Why the hell doesn't the Wii U get a version of Minecraft for GamePad-only play? That makes no sense, Notch!
The truth is Notch will continue to sell millions more copies fo Minecraft across all of its platforms, whether the game is updated or ported ever again. Minecraft is getting installed on tablet computers in schools everywhere. My nieces play Minecraft to no end, everywhere they go thanks to the pint-sized progam on their Kindle HD tablets.
There is no doubt that Minecraft has already changed our industry. Here's a list of things you can expect as the game continues to gain traction with an audience that is not dependant on gender, race, background, or ethnicity:
More games will launch as purchaseable and playable Alpha and Beta tests. Hell, many gaming companies want you in their Beta to get you hooked on their gameplay well before release. They want to put you and a million others on a spreadsheet and show you to the shareholders, just like they do with preorders.
More games will leave violence to the establishment publishers. Don't ignore titles like The Stanley Parable or Gone Home from last year, both GR Best of 2013 award-winning games. Narrative based games will continue to service those gamers who, like their characters in Minecraft, have never shot anyone. Other games, where emergent gameplay rules and player-to-player interactions drive the entertainment, will also continue to make big strides. Obviously, there's room for two players to shoot one another, but I'm hoping other stuff comes along too.
More games will feature crafting. Crafting is already in tons of games. It was even in Dead Space 3! Just look out for more of it.
More games will veer towards genderless themes. Sure, you look at Steve. He looks like a dude, everyone says he's a dude, but Minecraft took off with the female market because gender doesn't really play that big of a role in the game. There will be plenty of Grand Theft Autos focused on uniquely male figures. Battlefield and Call of Duty are hoping that the smallest possible effort will pay off in big sales to female gamers. (Spoiler Alert: it won't).
More games will have blocky stuff in it! That's just for fun.
Like it or not, Minecraft's dominance in a market that video games tend to ignore, that is casuals, female gamers, and school-age children, will make serious waves throughout the industry in the years to come. Mojang hasn't sold out to some big publisher or agreed to work only with Steam, which means that indies should continue to have hope that their wildest dreams, the ones they have of competing with companies like 2K or Electronic Arts, could very well become a reality.