Microsoft may have seemed bonkers to shell out a staggering $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang, the developer behind Minecraft, around three and a half years ago, but on hindsight it's looking like a smart play. Minecraft continues to grow in popularity, hitting all-time highs in pretty much every important metric. For example, there have been 144 million copies of Minecraft sold across more than a dozen platforms, with 74 million active players every month.
"We just recently set a new record in December for monthly active users, so now we're at 74 million monthly active users — and that's really a testament to people coming back to the game, whether it's through the game updates or bringing in new players from across the world," newly promoted Minecraft boss Helen Chiang told PopSugar. "That's really our goal, to keep building the community that we have."
Chiang's promotion is notable in part because she is the first woman of color to lead a major gaming studio. The opportunity arose when previous Minecraft boss Matt Booty was promoted to Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios. Not long after, Microsoft announced that Chiang would fill the vacancy. A well deserved promotion, Chiang has been working at Microsoft for nearly a decade, and has been part of the Minecraft team for the past three years.
"I've gotten to know the people in the studio really well over the last three years, and I can't think of a better team to get to lead," Chiang added. "When I think about what's next for us—well, my job is really not to change the plan that we're on, but to focus on a number of different things."
Going forward, there are three primary objectives Chiang hopes to accomplish. The first is to bring more people to Bedrock through Nintendo's Switch console. Secondly, she wants to expand the game's features, with an update to Aquatic coming out soon. And third is to roll out a new graphics engine. She also wants to unite all Minecraft players on different devices into a single community.
As for growth, it will be interesting to see Minecraft's numbers in a year from now, or two years. Just over a year and half ago, Microsoft was celebrating 100 million copies sold, and two years before that the number stood at 54 million. In other words, Minecraft has been to maintain its sales momentum for going on four years now.