Beloved wide-open sandbox title Minecraft recently celebrated its 11th birthday. Initially, a small-scale project released on PC in 2009, the title has risen to become not just internationally famous, but the best-selling video game of all time.

Now, Minecraft has officially hit 200 million sales, a mere four years after passing the 100 million mark in 2016. For comparison, the second place holder on the list of the best-selling games, Grand Theft Auto V, has sold only 120 million units throughout its lifetime, with third-place Tetris barely topping 100 million.

Microsoft, who acquired developer Mojang Studios in 2014, reports that approximately 126 million people play Minecraft every single month. The studio also revealed that the title had experienced a 25 increase in new players since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. The game makes an excellent way to connect with friends and family while remaining socially distant - showcased by the 40 percent spike in the total number of multiplayer sessions over the past month.

All indicators point to Minecraft continuing to experience further growth and success in the years to come. It remains the most popular viewing topic on YouTube and has released several well-received spinoffs, including Minecraft: Story Mode, Minecraft Dungeons, and Minecraft Earth. Additionally, Mojang Studios revealed in their anniversary blog post (which also featured the unveiling of a brand new company logo) that both a feature film and a live stage show are currently in the works.

Congratulations and Happy 11th Birthday to Minecraft! We wish this beloved title the best as it continues to grow and spread joy to gamers around the world. We might not have a Creeper-themed birthday cake to enjoy as the folks at Mojang did, but we are celebrating right along with you guys!

What are your favorite Minecraft memories from the past eleven years? How has the game been helping you during the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your stories with us!