As the game that has taken over the world over the last how-ever-many years, you are here because you’re wondering just how long Minecraft has actually been around for. And the sandbox survival has been around longer than you might think… So just when did Minecraft come out?
Well, it depends when you are counting from, as there is some confusion over the birth of Minecraft. Some people class the very first public release of Minecraft as its inception, while others count the later “full release” as its official release date. And there’s two years between the two, making all the difference.
So when did Minecraft come out?
Technically (and we fall on this side, too), Minecraft was released in May 2009. This was the first public rollout of the sandbox game by Markus Persson, more famously known as Notch. In 2009, Minecraft was only available on PC and is now referred to as Minecraft Classic. Even if you never played Minecraft this long ago, you’ve likely seen some videos or viral clips of the “old” Minecraft, including how few blocks there were, and the strange “oof” sounds Steve made when he took damage back in the day.
Minecraft Classic was followed by a number of other “versions”, including Alpha and Beta, before the official global release two years later. This is why the actual release date of Minecraft is a hotly-debated topic. However, we fall on the side of 2009 for one main reason… That’s the year Mojang Studios still classes as the “birth” of Minecraft.
Back in May 2019, exactly ten years on from Notch’s first Minecraft release, the studio released the 10 Years of Minecraft map, officially (so we think) confirming that Minecraft came out in 2009. The map, made by blockworks, featured an awesome minecart timeline of the updates that Minecraft has since received, a museum of Minecraft mobs, and a garden of giant mob spawn eggs, alongside loads more. If you have never visited this giant map, you still can, and we can’t recommend it highly enough. Not only will you learn things you didn’t know about the history of Minecraft, it’s just a beautiful, nostalgic trip through Minecraft’s past.
What was the 2011 Minecraft release date, then?
In 2011, after Minecraft started to see its success snowball, Notch took a step back, and handed the creative reins to “Jeb”, or Jens Bergensten. Jens is still the game’s lead designer to this day, and you might have seen him if you’ve ever been to or watched Minecraft Live.
After Jens took over in 2011 (though Notch still maintained ownership of the game), Minecraft Java Edition, Pocket Edition and the (now) Legacy Console Editions of the game were rolled out globally. The date many consider to be Minecraft’s official release date is November 18, 2011, because this was a more official and public release of the game.
From there, Minecraft has gone from strength-to-strength with multiple game-changing updates, hundreds of new blocks and mobs, and even the introduction of Alex. Notch sold Minecraft to Microsoft in 2014, which did nothing to slow the success of the game, contrary to fans fears at the time.
So there you have it. Feel free to make your own mind up about when Minecraft came out – but we refer you again to that “10 Years of Minecraft” map *wink, wink*. If this has made you keep to find out even more about Minecraft and Minecraft lore, then why not find out more about Minecraft Steve himself? And what about the weird Enderman language? We’ve got it all and more in our Minecraft hub.