Ever since Microsoft purchased Mojang back in 2014, Minecraft has continued to see an enormous amount of success. This can be contributed to the game’s initial popularity, however, it has kept its moment throughout this time. Under Microsoft’s leadership, the property has added a plethora of updates and new additions to make this much deeper than before. Although when the game was under developer, Markus “Notch” Persson’s, leadership, there was an underlying simplistic charm to it. Nevertheless, Microsoft has pivoted this game from being an incredibly successful indie game into one of the most recognizable and popular properties in the world. Global Recognition It’s no secret that Microsoft propelled Minecraft into an incredibly large spotlight under its control. September 2014 marked the sale of Notch’s magnum opus for a whopping $2.5 billion. This month also signified the last content update while independent and the property surpassing 13 million units sold. As of May 2019, Minecraft has sold over 176 million units across these systems. Thanks to this newfound guidance, the title has been able to reach an incredibly large audience but it was in a way that would not be possible should Mojang remain independent. The popular game branched out tremendously once Microsoft gained control of it. A partnership with Nintendo allowed it to launch on the Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS, and Switch consoles. Each came included with a Super Mario Character Skin Pack and Texture Pack. In addition to these, the Windows 10 version launched, as well as the Education Edition. Those launches are what helped propel the property into a wider audience. Yes, as an indie it could have been possible to create these versions, yet it wouldn’t have been as quick. Even if they had landed these, cross-play wouldn’t be as embraced as it is now. Players can link up with any other version of the game, minus PlayStation. This helps entice more users to want to play with all of their friends, a feature not possible without Microsoft. Deeper Updates When Mojang was independent, the updates that came out were meaty and added content you didn’t know was needed. For instance, the Halloween Update brought with it the Nether, the Redstone Update allowed for circuity, the Horse Update had, of course, horses, and the Bountiful Update had a huge array of new blocks, biomes, and mobs. Each of these introduced much-needed improvements while enhancing the game beyond its original potential. After the Bountiful Update launched, this could have been seen as where the game reached its peak. At this point, everything a player may desire is included and the game is essentially whole. Enter Microsoft. It was once they began to launch updates that there were no signs of slowing down. The Frostburn, Ender, Exploration, Combat, and Aquatic Updates all came out and added what nobody knew they needed. This isn’t to say that what was added is unnecessary, just that they make this game feel more lively. Using bamboo for scaffolding, riding around on llamas, or deep diving into the ocean to explore shipwrecks help enhance this game beyond its original point. They aren’t tedious or make this incredibly complicated, rather it adds more to do, more to accomplish. The world of Minecraft is much more involved and gives players plenty of choice on how to continue on. Although, these new additions do increase the difficulty just a bit more than before. Microsoft has been able to propel Minecraft into a video game phenomenon. With its dramatic increase in sales and deep updates, this world of blocks is truly immersive. It’s come alive much more than it had before while also bringing new enhancements. Opening up the game to cross-play and allowing friends of all systems to play this really does make this “Better Together.” This had always been a great title even while Mojang was independent but what the gaming conglomerate has done with it can’t be understated. Notch did create something great but with Microsoft it has turned into something larger than life.