The Entire History & Evolution of Minecraft

Updated on March 16, 2024
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Minecraft's history reflects its evolution from a simple project by Marcus 'Notch' Persson into a globally influential platform under Microsoft.

The Entire History & Evolution of Minecraft

Early Stages of Development

It all started with Marcus 'Notch' Persson, who is known as the father of Minecraft. He was working at King game development in 2011 when he had a spark of creativity, beginning to develop his own games in his own time.

While at King and later at jAlbum game development, Notch learned to code in several different languages and created the early versions of Minecraft, one of which was known as "cave game".

The first concept of Minecraft was 'RubyDung,' a base-building game influenced by the building and creation game Dwarf Fortress. However, as shown in the 2Player productions documentary about the history of Minecraft, Minecraft: The Story of Mojang, RubyDung was only meant to be a 6-12 month project that blossomed into the Minecraft we know today.

Taking inspiration from the recent release of the game Infiniminer, Notch established a first-person preference and the unmistakable blocky aesthetic. In May of 2009, Notch initially developed the original edition of Minecraft (Minecraft Java Edition).

A test video of the Minecraft Java Edition was released on YouTube in the same month. Then, over a single weekend, Notch created the programming of the base Minecraft game, releasing it to private play testers on TigIRC on May 16th.

The very next day, Minecraft was released to the public on the TigIRC forums, and with the feedback received from this release, Notch would go on to incorporate changes into subsequent updates.

Minecraft Classic Phase

Once Minecraft Classic had its official release, developmental updates followed, with the first three being 'Survival Test,' 'Indev,' and 'Infdev.' These were released in 2009 and 2010, respectively, and finally, the first significant game update, 'Minecraft Alpha,' was released on June 30th, 2010.

In the 2Player Productions documentary, Notch says of the game's release for sale to the public: "When the first million Swedish Kronor (came into) the account, it was definitely one of the bigger (like) milestones."

Dubbed 'obsessively addictive,' the game's sales skyrocketed, and Notch quit his job at to focus on the further development of Minecraft into beta phase.

While he released further updates for Minecraft, which were automatically distributed to owners of the game (including new blocks, game mechanics, game modes, and bug fixes), Notch founded Mojang.

Minecraft's Full Version Release

On December 20th, 2010, after more work by Mojang, Notch released Minecraft in its beta stage, with bug fixes and updates being released for free as the previous had been.

On the fateful day of November 18th, 2011, the full version of Minecraft was released, pulling it out of beta testing. However, there were more changes to come as Jens 'Jeb' Bergensten came into Mojang to take over full creative control of Minecraft and would replace Notch as the lead designer.

Development of the game continued, with updates constantly being released. In addition, Mojang brought in more game developers of the 'Bukkit API for the development of server support. On September 15th, 2014, Notch became one of Forbes' 'World Billionaires' with one single sale.

The Sale of Mojang

In 2014, Microsoft purchased all games made by Mojang, including Minecraft for $2.5 Billion, taking over the company and the game in its entirety. This was huge, and as the company and game had grown, Notch explains why the sale felt right in the 2Player Productions documentary: "I'd rather work on something smaller, as I made Minecraft strictly for myself".

Despite winning Academy Awards for Minecraft and attracting the attention of not only Microsoft but Activision Blizzard and EA, the sale was made, and Notch retired to create more games on a smaller, more personal scale.

The Show Goes On

Since its acquisition by Microsoft in 2014, Minecraft has continued to evolve, expanding its reach and influence within the gaming community and beyond. Known for its limitless possibilities in creation, exploration, and survival, Minecraft has become more than just a game; it's a platform for learning, creativity, and community building.

Under Microsoft's stewardship, Minecraft has seen numerous updates, each adding new features, blocks, creatures, and dimensions that keep the game fresh and engaging. One of the most notable updates, the Update Aquatic, transformed the game's oceans into vibrant, living ecosystems, teeming with new life and adventures. Following that, the Village & Pillage and Nether Update further enriched the game's worlds, introducing new mobs, biomes, and gameplay mechanics.

This development timeline continued, with named updates being released from then on:

Name of Update

Year of Release

Adventure Update


Pretty Scary Update


Redstone Update, Horse Update, The Update That Changed The World


Bountiful Update


Combat Update, Frostburn Update, Exploration Update


World of Color Update


Update: Aquatic


Villager and Pillager Update, Buzzy Bees Update


The Nether Update


Caves and Cliffs Part I Update, Caves and Cliffs Part II Update


The Wild Update