Minecraft may be having a moment again thanks to newfound interest from popular YouTubers and an uptick in nostalgia-induced playing, but even the world-building crafting game can’t compete with Roblox.
Roblox, a popular digital playground similar to communities like Habbo Hotel and games like Second Life, has hit a new milestone — 100 million monthly active users. The company celebrated by released an exclusive, limited-edition accessory for players, which can be redeemed for free.
“Roblox began with just 100 players and a handful of creators who inspired one another, unlocking this groundswell of creativity, collaboration, and imagination that continues to grow,” CEO David Baszucki said in a press release today.
The company has been slowly building its user base since the game first launched in 2005, four years before one of its biggest competitors, Minecraft. Roblox has become increasingly popular in recent years, though. The game has a big following on YouTube, and was even parodied in a Kanye West music video, where he and Lil Pump dressed up as Roblox avatars.
To compare, Minecraft has 91 million monthly active players, according to Microsoft. The game has seen a recent uptick in interest thanks to more YouTube creators, like Jacksepticeye and PewDiePie devoting lengthy videos to gameplay sessions. New tools, like ray tracing, also caught the interest of players who had walked away from the game. Other factors, including a new weekly series called Minecraft Monday from YouTube creator Daniel “Keemstar” Keem, have helped to bring Minecraft back to the forefront of gaming conversation.
“Nine years later those children are older teens or adults and nostalgia has set in,” Keem told Polygon. “Over the last two years, Minecraft has been added to meme culture, making it also cool again.”
The new interest in Minecraft could mean that the Microsoft-owned game will surpass Roblox. It’s also possible augmented reality game) and Pokémon Go competitor) Minecraft Earth could be the thing to push Minecraft past Roblox when it launches later this year. Until then, Roblox is on top.