The alpha version of Minecraft launched on PC in 2009 before the game was published as a full release in 2011.
In late 2014, by which time the game had also been released on mobile and console platforms, Microsoft announced a deal to buy its creator Mojang and the Minecraft intellectual property for $2.5 billion.
In October 2018, Microsoft told Business Insider the game had sold over 154 million copies across all platforms and had 91 million monthly active users.
Additionally, a Chinese free-to-play version of Minecraft available on PC and mobiles had 150 million registered users as of October 2018.
Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world. The Business Insider report called it the second highest-selling game of all time behind Tetris.
Microsoft has always said it’s wary of making Minecraft 2 as its primary concern is keeping the existing community happy. Instead, it’s continued to evolve and update the original game, while expanding the franchise with spin-offs like its episodic Minecraft: Story Mode, and dungeon crawler Minecraft Dungeons, which is coming to PC in 2019.
On the subject of a potential sequel, Helen Chiang, head of Minecraft at Microsoft, told Business Insider: “I really don’t think that makes sense for Minecraft, given the community. It’s something that always fractures the community. The way that we’ve decided to expand — and I think ‘Dungeons’ is the first example of that — is a way that we’re trying to keep our community together.
“That’s why our updates our free,” she added. “We don’t want to ask [players] to move from Minecraft 1 to Minecraft 2. We want them to just enjoy Minecraft. And there’s other ways that we can expand that are more meaningful and authentic to what we want to be, rather than just releasing another iteration in the way that most other franchises do.”