Jeremy Carefoot is an avid video game enthusiast who has general knowledge about gaming and lots of experience with first-person shooters.
Is Minecraft Dying?
For people who played Minecraft as children—or who currently play it—it might be disappointing to hear that the game has been declining in popularity for a long time. But will that end?
Google Trends Data
Google Trends Data Analyzed
As you can see, there is a steady decline of interest according to Google Trends (an official Google source).
Google Trends measures the number of times a certain query is searched online, then gives it a score out of 100 and puts the score on a graph.
As you can see, over time Minecraft hit its climax. What happens when you hit the peak of something? The only direction left to go is down. Since then, Minecraft has steadily declined in interest over the span of four years. The largest drop was between June and September of 2016.
Of course, Google Trends doesn't necessarily track the popularity of a specific game—it just tracks the number of searches for it. As we can see in this graph, Minecraft is searched less frequently than it used to be.
However, in contrast to previous observations, very recently (early 2020) the game has seen an increase in searches and Google popularity. It may be that Minecraft is making a comeback in the gaming community. We will explore this later in the article.
YouTube Minecraft Google Trends Data
YouTube Minecraft Google Trends Data Analyzed
You can see that this graph looks very similar to the first one; however, this graph reflects YouTube searches.
We all know that YouTube is the juggernaut of online video-streaming and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, and much of the content on the site advertises or promotes games free of cost for game developers. Much of Minecraft's reputation was established on Youtube thanks to passionate content creators and is partially responsible for Minecraft's domination in the survival-game genre.
Seeing Minecraft lose interest on YouTube is not a good sign. For example, we have seen many extremely popular Minecraft content creators quit the platform or lose interest from the community. Content creators such as "SkyDoesMinecraft" or "The Yogscast" moving on from Minecraft means that it will lack exposure to the community or young children who may be interested in playing.
Similar to the last data, we see a recent spark in popularity and for once in many years Minecraft seems to be in its original up swinging position again.
Why Is Minecraft Losing Popularity?
There are a variety of reasons why the game may have been declining in interest.
Though there is no definite way to know, we can assume it is the content updates and maturation of the community.
Minecraft does have content updates still, but they just do not compare to the number of updates in 2012–13, which was the peak of the game's interest. Many of the updates being developed and released now haven't appealed to the majority of the fan-base. Such as the "Combat Update" which introduced a new combat mechanic. Many players did not like these changes and left the game, or just did not play as consistently. This is looking to change shortly in the game's future, however, as we see new and frequent updates being added on to the game.
The second reason, which we believe is the primary one, would be the maturing of the community. With much of the original fan-base growing older and losing interest, Minecraft has lost the majority of players that had an interest in the game during it's "good old days".
However, we must address the sudden spike in popularity which has moved more players to the game than it has drawn in years.
With new engaging and advanced updates being announced for the game, such as the recent Nether revitalization, Minecraft is confident in bringing back it's old attraction. Not only are they targeting the new, younger generation. But they are actively drawing back the old community, perhaps for a nostalgic taste of the incredible survival game that shaped them into who they are.
What Is the Future of Minecraft?
We can conclusively say that regardless of the game's future, the fact that Minecraft has managed to hold a firm grip on an active community for nearly eleven years is incredibly impressive, and may prove that the game is not going anywhere soon.
The game will still live on for the foreseeable future, and we can be nothing but optimistic as Minecraft re-evaluates the precedent irritations of the community and continues to draw attention from the gaming industry. It's dreadfully long, steady pace of declining in interest may have come to an end, at least for now.