Mighty Minecraft Makes A Comeback


Heritage Daily

The possibilities are endless in Minecraft as you can create small structures or even a giant medieval town.

Prahalad Chari, Broadcast Manager

“Oh my gosh! That was like so last month! Why do you even play [insert game name] anymore?” Sassy comments like these perfectly sum up the nature of most games: they become the most popular thing in the world on Monday and fade away by Sunday. However, life for a select few games does not end there. Introducing the resurgent games, a class of video games that not only instill nostalgia in players but are just too good to let go of. Such games typically experience a decrease in popularity, followed by an even larger surge due to improvements made towards graphics, content, and more. Minecraft is the perfect example of this: after experiencing a steady decrease in popularity from 2013, the game is making an unprecedented comeback in recent months, even becoming one of the most searched games on Google. While Minecraft isn’t the only game that has experienced a revival, out of all the games that “bounced back”, Minecraft is by far the most improved, unique, and popular.

The updates made in Minecraft have improved the game mechanics significantly and have also increased the avenues for creativity, which is very important for a sandbox game. Like most games, Minecraft has constant updates, but unlike its competitors, the quality of these updates revolutionize the game. From update 1.6 in 2013, to update 1.14 in 2019, Minecraft has added a vast array of new features including more in-game entities, building blocks, biomes, and structures. All of these changed the gameplay entirely, creating more interesting ways to build or beat the game. They enabled players to have more unique goals, made the game more immersive, and along with the new skins and texture packs, made the game more realistic. By consistently releasing better updates, the game developers are able to ensure that the game stays fresh, even after the final boss is defeated.

This, along with  Minecraft’s ability to simultaneously have a modern and nostalgic vibe is another reason it is the best resurgent video game. Other long-lasting games like the Pokemon games (with the exception of Pokemon Go) offer very little variety within the game. As the games were released, they became more modern and lost their “retro” appeal: the 8-bit, 2-D characters were gone, and replaced with a highly modern animation style like in Pokemon Go. The possibilities in those games are hugely limited unlike in Minecraft where mods (free downloadable game modifications) and texture packs provide limitless new things to try out. You have the ability to change almost everything, including the graphics, which you can’t do in any other resurgent game.Many of the first-person shooter (FPS) games, resurgent or not, tend to have erratic spikes in popularity that then die down quickly. For example, Call of Duty was never able to fully recover from its dip in popularity because of the various similar, newer games released in rapid succession. That is the main issue with FPS; nothing is ever really unique. Even Fortnite, a game that had unprecedented popularity, has died down recently, becoming less popular than Minecraft. The only game that could potentially be similar to Minecraft is Roblox, which doesn’t even offer a solo-play mode, unlike Minecraft which allows for both solo and multiplayer gaming. Avid Nintendo fans may argue that the revamped Super Smash Bros Ultimate from the Smash Bros franchise is the better game because of the changes to in-game mechanics and combos, which force players to create new game strategies. While gamers will have to change their strategies, it will only be a one-time, and rather easy change to do. Minecraft has more expansive and frequent updates, which ensures that the players will constantly have something new to play with. Additionally, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is only available on the Nintendo Switch, whereas Minecraft is available on a variety of consoles from PCs, to tablets, to the Xbox. Thus, it also is a more accessible game, allowing a larger audience to enjoy the game.

In a fast-paced and ever-changing game environment, many games tend to appear identical after a while. It is in this desert of boredom that the oasis that is Minecraft materializes. It’s adaptability, novelty, and modifiability provide a much-needed respite from the endless, monotony of other games, and the stream of constant updates quench a gamer’s thirst for a new adventure.