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According to this website and this one, Minecraft has sold over 600 million copies. However, in a 2021 Gamespot article it says that only 238 million copies had been sold at that point. Have there really been sold 400 million copies in the last few years? Does this count double copies?

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  • The second website you cite ("this one", gamerant.com/minecraft-600-million-player/) does not claim 600 millions copies have been sold, only that there are 600 million players. So, only the first website (searchlogistics.com) makes that claim and it hardly appears to be a credible site (the author probably saw the "600 million players" stat somewhere and then incorrectly changed it to "600 million copies sold").
    – user62611
    Jun 30, 2023 at 1:09
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    Important note: In general, software is never sold. That is a conveniently abused misconception. What is being sold, is a license. The license exists to keep the information (which software is) a secret to others (as in: not copy it to others). Which exists precisely because the concept of ownership is not applicable to information space. (It conflicts with causality, as copies can be made outside of the issuer’s event horizon, making it physically impossible to know unless told. So information itself (unlike actual work) has ultimately infinitely abundant supply, and is hence worthless.)
    – anon
    Jul 1, 2023 at 14:49

1 Answer 1

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Minecraft has not sold 600 million copies

As far as I've been able to find, Microsoft has not released a new total or annual count of Minecraft sales since the 238 million figure. Comparing to past growth numbers however, The Verge reports that the game reached 100 million sales in 2016, and 200 million in 2020. Even if growth were accelerating, 400 million additional sales in two years would be unbelievable.

However digging into your sources, especially the one from Search Logistics, we find that the 600 million number comes from adding 400+ million downloads of a free version of Minecraft only available in China. Additionally, that version already surpassed 400 million downloads in 2020, rather than having explosive growth since 2021. It is reasonable that a free download would have higher numbers than the paid version; while Minecraft's 238 million sales tops charts of game sales, records for downloads of free games can exceed 1 billion.

In terms of the articles themselves, the Search Logistics page does include the claim "600 million copies sold" which I consider incorrect, but the rest of the page does include a breakdown between sales and downloads and the underlying data agrees with other sources such as Priori Data. The Game Rant page is much worse, inaccurately describing both the 200+ million sales and 400+ million downloads as "active players" and doesn't clearly state that the Chinese version is free.

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    All these "free downloads" are not necessarily a bad thing. More community content is valuable. It really depends on how many would have bought it vs how much they add to the community. Jun 29, 2023 at 5:27
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    @KevinKostlan nobody is saying that it'd bad. It' just not somthing that should be counted towards a number of "games sold"
    – Hobbamok
    Jun 30, 2023 at 13:39

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